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InvisibleMoonshoe
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the root of suffering is desire
    #5011430 - 12/03/05 08:50 PM (16 years, 7 days ago)

this is a fundamental fact of buddhism. that suffering is caused by desire, and to eliminate desire "the powerfull enemy of the soul" is the way to liberation.

for a long time i really struggled with this idea. after all, dont things that i desire, like sex, or drugs, or food, bring happiness more then they bring suffering?

sure, by renouncing all physical things maybe you could eliminate suffering , but wouldnt you also eliminate all happiness/pleasure? and isnt it worth accepting one for the sake of the other?

but then i realized i was thinking about it wrong. They dont say "enjoyment is the root of all suffering" but rather that DESIRE is the root of all suffering.

theres a differance. see, if you desire something, then by definition, you dont already have it, and thus you will feel pain because you want what you dont have.

so rather than desire things, simply spend your energies on apreciation

in conversations with god, the author talks about "sponsoring thoughts"

basically, your thought gives rise to your experience. so if you think you want something, all that thought gives rise to is the sensation of WANT. if you desire a new car, you dont get a new car, you get the desire for a new car.

So yeah. you dont need to renounce anything! you can fuck, drink, smoke dope, do whatever you want, but the key is to do it by way of accepting and acnowledging everything that comes into yoru experience, rather than always wishing for new things to come into your experience.

Like, dont sit around going "shit, i wish i had some weed" but if you DO have some weed, by all means, enjoy every puff! but when you run out, dont start thinking :shit i wish i had more: start thinking, i dunno, hey doesnt this blanket feel nice? or isnt the sky a lovely blue?

ok maybe that wasnt helpfull to anyone else, but just a little pseudorevelation i had.

Thinking: i want that = experience of want
thinking: hey, i enjoy this = experience of enjoyment

therefore, desire is fundamentally useless and negative, always.

NEVER want anything. Have, realize you have, and enjoy.

:sun:


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


Everything I post is fiction.


Edited by Moonshoe (12/03/05 11:29 PM)


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OfflineGomp
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5011444 - 12/03/05 08:53 PM (16 years, 7 days ago)

"wanting, is creating that you can not create.."
-unknown :P


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Gomp]
    #5011478 - 12/03/05 09:03 PM (16 years, 7 days ago)

exactly! fucking awesome, gomp


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Everything I post is fiction.


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5011583 - 12/03/05 09:34 PM (16 years, 7 days ago)

So yeah. you dont need to renounce anything! you can fuck, drink, smoke dope, do whatever you want, but the key is to do it by way of accepting and acnowledging everything that comes into yoru experience, rather than always wishing for new things to come into your experience.

maybe you can but i certainly can't. i agree that desire is the root of suffering but i for one cannot smoke weed or drink and be free from desire. the feeling of being all burnt out or hungover is so shitty compared to the feeling of being high that i find it impossible not to desire to feel different than i do when i am burnt out, especially because i brought that feeling upon myself. the truth is that DESIRE IS WHAT MAKES YOU SMOKE WEED, if you were truly free from desire you would not have the desire to smoke weeed and hurt your lungs and make yourself feel burnt out afterwards, you would simply have no need for this compromise because youd be content to start with. when i am content i have no desire to smoke weed, it is only disconentment or desire for releif, desire to feel some way other than how i feel, that leads me toward that behavior. on the other hand when i am free from desire i have no desire to smoke weed, you could put the nicest looking bud in front of me and it doesn't attract me at all.


Edited by Deviate (12/03/05 09:36 PM)


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5011623 - 12/03/05 09:45 PM (16 years, 7 days ago)

Quote:

if you desire a new car, you dont get a new car, you get the desire for a new car.




joy happens when you get something you desire.

sadness happens when you don't.

i don't think desire is bad itself. what's bad is not getting what you desire. what's good is getting it.

Quote:

wanting, is creating that you can not create..




consider that desire for a new car that leads a person to acquire one. that desire creates the new car for them.


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


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5011941 - 12/03/05 11:24 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

good thoughts. i think the truth lies somewhere between your post and mine. maybe my example of weed was a bad one.

lets say your walking on a forest path in the evening. you ascend a hill, just in time to see a glorious, spectacular sunset blazing the sky orange and pink.

Reality has presented you with this opportunity, fortune has conspired to put you in just such a position that you can view this miracluous sight.

Pleasure is found in the observation and acceptance of this beauty, even though until you saw it, you had no concious desire to watch a sunset.

when the sunset is over and the sky is dark, you are left feeling content and gratitude, but you have no desire for another sunset... the experience comes, you enjoy it, then you let it go. You spend no more time wishing the sunset hadnt ended, or that you could witness another one immediatly. rather, you now enjoy the stars of the night sky.

You drift with the flow of reality, accepting what comes and enjoying it, but not trying to force reality to conform to your constantly shifting desires, with the inevitable result of suffering.

in other words, rather than trying to force reality to meet your desires, through constant effort and activity, you bring your desires into accordance with what is, and just enjoy...

this is what i was trying to get at/

returning to weed, we seem to have different experiences.

when i wake up in the morning, i almost always feel great. i feel happy, content, healthy, more or less eager to face the day.

BUT if i happen to have some weed in my pocket, it wont be long until i sit down and enjoy a contemplative toke. When the toke is over, i return to the business of the day. Maybe i shall toke again later, maybe not.

i never feel "burned out" really... being "high" flows back into being "sober" fluidly, subtly, so that it would be very very hard for me to distinguish the two states at all, in any definite sense.

When it is time to smoke weed, i enjoy weed. when it is not, i enjoy not. of course, i do still desire weed sometimes when i dont have it. But i propose that when such an unfufillable desire arises, the logical thing to do is quash the desire by shifting your attention from wanting what you dont have to apreciating what you do.

peace
:stoned:


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


Everything I post is fiction.


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5011969 - 12/03/05 11:38 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

yes our experiences with weed is different. i am never satisfied with just one high, even if i felt satisfied before i smoked once i come down i feel unsatisfied and have to smoke again. i could never control my weed intake, as soon id smoke once id end up smoking the whole rest of the day. it was by far the most addictive drug i ever tried. but anyway, what i dissareed with you on is your statement that you don't have to renounce anything. sometimes you do in fact have to renounce things that are causing you too much desire. if i hadn't renounced weed id still be a pathetic weed addict today.


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InvisibleMoonshoe
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5012018 - 12/03/05 11:56 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

"but anyway, what i dissareed with you on is your statement that you don't have to renounce anything"

yes, your right, we do have to make decisions of will about what we do and do not allow into our experience... that is personal power, and when you realized weed wasnt good for you and threw it out, you exercised that power  :thumbup:

we do need to make choices in life. But my point (which i regretably used weed to illustrate) is just that it is (i believe) possible to enjoy without desiring. Obviously this doesnt nescessarily apply to addictive chemicals, but in terms of life in general.

what im trying to point to is a way of life where everything that comes into our experience, every tree , every cloud, every passing face, is reveled in, enjoyed, dranken up joyously, then released freely, moving ever on to the next thing, with no clinging...with no desire.

another example: lets say your a bit hungry. you open your fridge and all that you can find is a lonely apple and piece of white bread.

theres two things you could do (well more than two but you know)

1. you could wish you had a hot cooked pot roast with gravy and mashed potato and butter and a side salad and a glass of wine and curse your humble apple and bread, thereby suffering from desire

or

2. you could take the apple and the bread, eat it slowly, savoiuring every second of sensation, every crunch, every chew... and experience pleasure

starting to see what i mean? not really talking to you alone deviate, just still rambeling on with my thought here...

PEACE


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Everything I post is fiction.


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OfflineMushroomTrip
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe] * 1
    #5012080 - 12/04/05 12:14 AM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Yeah, but you can't just destroy desire. Desire means passion, creativity, and it can create a huge amounts of energy. We just can't eliminate this experience from our lifes because of being afraid of suffering. I think the answer is to know how to treat your suffering not avoiding it because it's like skipping something essential.


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

:bunnyhug: :yinyang2:


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OfflineSneezingPenis
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: MushroomTrip]
    #5012231 - 12/04/05 01:03 AM (16 years, 6 days ago)

what happened to just working towards appreciating every moment of existence?


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OfflinejustAkid
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: MushroomTrip]
    #5012375 - 12/04/05 01:34 AM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

Yeah, but you can't just destroy desire. Desire means passion, creativity, and it can create a huge amounts of energy. We just can't eliminate this experience from our lifes because of being afraid of suffering. I think the answer is to know how to treat your suffering not avoiding it because it's like skipping something essential.




Bhuddists express that desire of what is impermanent leads to suffering. Realistically everyone does everything they do out of desire. If they didn't desire what they did they would not have done it. So the Bhuddists cannot mean that all desire is bad. I believe there are some things that are constant. I believe Awareness and Love are the greateast constants and we must desire them in order to act on them and benefit from them.


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Trust thyself.


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: justAkid]
    #5012845 - 12/04/05 04:45 AM (16 years, 6 days ago)

ok moonshoe (nice name by the way) here is my second attempt to explain what i wanted to say earlier. really what i was dissagreeing with that the attitude i often see from people here that "surpressing your natural desires is never a good thing" and that it is ok to continue pursuing selfish worldy desires and this won't detract from your spiritual growth. basically the anti-monk sentiment. this is something i strongly dissagree with. i'll give some examples to illustrate what i am trying to say. when i wanted to quit masturbaing i made a thread about it and many of the so called "spiritual" people here told me to continue masturbating, that it was good for me and that supressing my desire to masturbate was bad. yet in my experience this was completely untrue. my desire for masturbation was detracting tremendously from my spiritual growth, it was a cause of so much distraction and discontentment. so i ignored what everyone here said and quit masturbating. the first 10 days were difficult as i had to forcefully suppress the desire. after that the desire simply dropped from me and my mind became so much clearer and focus improved, no more annoying sexual thoughts popping up in my mind every minute. my level of happiness and contentment shot way up (in short it was without a doubt a good decision for me). you see, i believe the only way that worldly pleasures don't detract from your spiritual growth is if you are able to pursue them with non attatchment (or if once fullfilled they go away and cease bothering you). because i was unable to masturbate without becomming attatched to the feeling and because no matter how many times i did i never felt fullfilled or satisfied, my only choice was to give it up. now of course, having acheived non attatchment to masturbating i could probably do it if i wanted to. but guess what, i have no desire to do it at all. if a desire is causing you suffering, you essentially have 2 choices, fullfill it or overcome it. as i said, no matter how many times i would masturbate id never feel fullfilled, my only choice was to was suppress it.

another example i already mentioned was weed. i simply had to stop smoking weed because there was no way i could do so with non attatchment. my very desire for weed was rooted in attacthment.i believe that uncontroled pursuit of desires leads to what buddhists call the "hungry ghost" state where you no matter how much you get you never feel fullfilled. ive been in the hungry ghost state and i don't see any other way out other than to stop and begin supressing your desires. yes, its very hard at first but its so worth it in the end.

i agree with jesus's statement that you cannot serve two masters. you cannot serve your ego's lower desires while at the same time serving your higher self. ive tried it and it just doesn't work, one will always get in the way of the other. in my opinion those who advocate a spiritual path that does not involve letting go of your old identity old beliefs, letting go of your ego and serving only the higher self, advocate a false path. their path may take you to a certain point and you may feel like a very spiritual person but you will get stuck and never be able to get beyond that point and truely transcend suffering.


in short, i strongly dissagree with the anti monk way of life sentiment. i believe that renouncing worldly desires can be a powerful method of acheiving spiritual growth for some people. in fact, for some people (like people caught in the hungry ghost state) it may be a necessary step. it works because once youve renounced your desires your mind cannot keep pursuing them, it cannot keep looking outward because it's not going to get any satisfaction from outside so eventually it will turn inward.

now i am not saying that it is necessary to adopt the monk way of life, i am only defending it as a valid path to spiritual growth. i believe it is quite possible for some people to obtain maximum spiritual growth without adopting a monk way of life or officially renouncing any desires. for example the desire for body drugs like opiates, or alcohol. i never renounced my desire for those things, instead the desire simply fell away from me when i reached a certain level of consciousness. so some people do not need to supress their desires because their desires are not out of control, not out of balance and the unecessary ones will fall away when the times comes. but there are other people who are trapped by their deires, who are stuck in the "hungry ghost" state. for them, renouncing their desires may be the only way to bring their minds back into balance and find peace. sorry this is so long, i just felt this was an important point to make because ive seen other people make posts asking how to give up something and being told there was no need to give it up and i think telling someone this can be harmful. each person needs to judge for themself what desires are getting in the way of their personal well-being and if someone wishes to give something up i think it is damaging to tell them that supressing desires is not a good thing.


Edited by Deviate (12/04/05 05:00 AM)


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5012947 - 12/04/05 06:19 AM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Very good and balanced post, dev.
I don't want to derail, but if a desire has its cause in getting away from some suffering, I think it is an absolute necessary desire towards happiness, even a buddhist would see it as an desire which 'is' suffering.
I did not find a way out that paradox yet.

I only can see happiness in misery as a view of desired possibility to change this misery.
If one is not capable of that change, situation will get critical and one has to let go even those desires ?


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


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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5012991 - 12/04/05 07:57 AM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Yippee! You got it dude! :thumbup: Veritas and I have been watching you develop this idea and work out the concepts and test all the angles. Man you are one cool dude. You definitely remind me of myself. :grin:


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

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

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


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OfflineMushroomTrip
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5013033 - 12/04/05 09:09 AM (16 years, 6 days ago)

I partially agree with you. But what is called to be the "hungry ghost" is more suited to an addiction level more than to desire. I'm not saying that desire can't lead to addiction because it does. But from my point of view addiction is something very different from desire, meaning that by addiction or "hungry ghost" you think of some psychological problem or damage and by desire you think about something spiritual.
I'm sure that stoping from masturbting made you more spiritual but you also must be aware that the same thing is working different for different people. It helped you as it could do nothing for somebody else.
The same thing goes for the quitting weed thing. But is that your purpose in life? To do things without attatchment because otherwise you become vulnerable? This is not strenght.... avoiding vulnerability. Real strenght is dealing with it, and still be able to develop spiritually. I think that's what we all sholud be wanting. To live the life we are offered, to accept all it's challanges, obstacles and weak moments we have because that's the only way we can evolve and
become better.
And, most important to do what we feel and to ba able to axpress ourselves freely.


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

:bunnyhug: :yinyang2:


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Icelander]
    #5013380 - 12/04/05 12:43 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Ice, can you keep happy if someone burns your hand and don't you have any desire to pull it away ?
Hmm, perhaps this is a 'need', so buddhist rules don't work for 'needs'.
It is sometimes dificult to keep the line between need and desire, imho... especially when 'needs' get subjective or desires get objective :smile: Or if we talk about the need of the soul...
But perhaps you are in nirvana if you transcendend you needs into desires ?
I am lost ... :lol:
:mushroom2:


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


Edited by BlueCoyote (12/04/05 12:55 PM)


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Gomp]
    #5013625 - 12/04/05 01:59 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

Gomp said:
"wanting, is creating that you can not create.."
-unknown :P




That is nice. :thumbup:

Julebrus? Julebrus?! Julebrus!!!  :crazy2:

":confused:" :wink: :thumbup:

: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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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: BlueCoyote]
    #5013635 - 12/04/05 02:02 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

if someone burns your hand and don't you have any desire to pull it away

Instinct takes care of that sort of thing. :grin:


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

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

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


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5013679 - 12/04/05 02:17 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
joy happens when you get something you desire.

sadness happens when you don't.

i don't think desire is bad itself.  what's bad is not getting what you desire.  what's good is getting it.




:lol: Why gamble with one's peaceful, content experience by playing The Reality Must Fufill My Demand In Order For Myself To Be Satisfied game which will certainly inflict unnecessary suffering upon oneself as it is a diversion that is rigged so that you experience a loss? :confused: To do so is ignorantly insane. :nonono:

You have no concept of the difference between an emotion-backed demand (which you refer to as desire) and that of a simple preference. Reality will unfold as it unfolds, and your stubborn will to demand and expect reality to conform to your ignorant "needs" is simply no match for it. It is to be accepted as it decides to present itself. Utilizing preferences will effectively guide oneself into an enriching, satisfying, aware state of being without holding that state of being hostage in order to make a list of demands of reality, which wouldn't negotiate with you even if it was possible for it to do so.

Not everyone's mind operates with the same thought processes as you. Desire simply isn't a part of the equation when it comes to a perspective that directly perceives reality without obstruction. :wink: Desire itself binds one from being able to effectively attain whatever the desire demands in the first place. :lol:

Quote:


consider that desire for a new car that leads a person to acquire one.  that desire creates the new car for them.




The desire doesn't create anything. The desire acts as an ineffcient, faulty catalyst that initiates the person suffering from such an infliction to take action that resulted in attaining possession over the car. There are more effective manners in which to attain possesion over the car or to arrive at any state which do not subsequently, ignorantly cause the experience of suffering for the person.

Desire is a parasite. If it let you realize that it was parasitic in nature, then you wouldn't allow it - thus its survival would be threatened. The parasite is very effective at feeding off of you without you even realizing it is there; or, if you are aware of its presence, it brings you to misperceive it as an aspect of yourself acting in your favor. :thumbdown: Expel it! :smirk:

: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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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: BlueCoyote]
    #5013715 - 12/04/05 02:25 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

BlueCoyote said:
Ice, can you keep happy if someone burns your hand and don't you have any desire to pull it away ?




There is no desire involved. Desire isn't necessary for your body to physically react to your hand's burning flesh by immediately taking action to remove the threat from oneself. It happens as a natural reaction. Desire seems to only apply when it comes to situations where we have invested emotional needs, but that there is no immediate threat to one's life that requires an unconscious, fight or flight reaction. It is an abstraction resulting from a poorly managed mind. Desire exists as that emotional need in order to manipulate the conscious mechanism into becoming unconscious and automatically allowing action to be taken to fufill that emotional need.

There is nothing beneficial in suffering from desire other than that, by suffering as a result of desire infecting your mind's thought processes, you become aware of the problem and thus have the oppurtunity to heal oneself of desire. :thumbup:

: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

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InvisibleIcelander
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: fireworks_god]
    #5013888 - 12/04/05 03:09 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

:thumbup: for your last two posts. desire=addiction as far as it seems to be used in this thread.


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

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

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Icelander]
    #5013931 - 12/04/05 03:24 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

it all looks great on paper.... but I think all the hedonists were too busy masturbating, smoking and eating to respond to this thread...


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Icelander]
    #5013937 - 12/04/05 03:25 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Addiction is the word that reflects desire's true, maleovent nature (in relation to our own benefit). I am a strong advocate of igniting a great wildfire of conscious awareness in order to promote a very healthy, mental immune system so that we do not remain blighted.

If anyone has ever played Morrowind, one's character is much more capable of roaming the vast wonder of the contintent and the expansive winter island and city when one isn't suffering from that cough that one picked up roaming around the Ashlands. :stoned: :lol:


But becoming a werewolf is a great asset in ravaging around, a mindless beast with an ironic sense for brutal attacks on Caldera and Balmora. Terrorizing Balmora is always a delight. :evil:

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


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5013942 - 12/04/05 03:26 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Nice topic. I don't know what Bhuddha meant by it. I do know how I chose to interpret it and use the idea to my benefit, sort of like how mushroomtrip sees it.

Desire is an aspect of creative energy and the will to know itself through experiencing itself and its creations and itself through its creations.

They key is to know how to deal with suffering when it arises is right.

Quick tips and tricks related to removing the suffering while you desire and create away.

As often as you can, always start off with feeling MASSIVE humbling amounts of appreciation for what you already have. Have yourself feeling like the wealthiest person on the planet to have your health, friends, family and what material possessions you do and what grand experiences you have already had.

It's difficult to feel suffering while desiring something new, when you are blown away in humble appreciation with what you already have.

The greatest trick is to simply NOT attach your self identity or self worth to any object, person, title, or experience.

Who are you with NOTHING standing NAKED? You a grand creative intelligent being worthy of your own love and love from others with NOTHING while standing naked.

When your sense of identity and self worth comes from your inherent divinity and not your things, relationships, titles or experiences, if you loose them or don't acquire a desire, there is no loss that can lead to suffering. You already are it all to the max with nothing and already feel like a King/Queen before even having it.

We suffer when we feel pieces of ourselves being cut or ripped away from us. Simply, don't equate yourself with things that can be taken away or lost or that are unattainable in the first place.

Have your sense of who you are fulfilled to the brim with nothing standing naked first.

Loss is simple to deal with when you can say to yourself, I acquired it before, I can again if its that important to me. Gets easier still if you just quit your "pit party poor me BS" and feel to yourself. "WOW" I was soooo fortunate to have had it and have known what it was like to have and experience it for the time that I did. I'm such a blessed soul.

Feeling fortunate and blessed for having had or known, even in loss will bring more fortune and blessings and soon you learn to trust in the process.

Think of yourself not as the owner of what you have but as a temporary "guardian care taker" of it. Of course you have ownership rights to your stuff, and yet, who cares, big deal, its pretty meaningless, as it all can be taken away by some greater force or power. Ask anyone effected by hurricane Katrina how that works.

By thinking of yourself as the temporary guardian care taker instead of the owner keeps it from becoming a possession of yours which keeps you from becoming possessive about it which keeps you from suffering attachment loss if you do. Regarding wanting new things, remember, as guardian caretaker of them, you will also acquire the management responsibility of caring for it. Think twice about what you want to be caring for.

Here's another thing some time and experience will teach you about acquiring stuff. When you buy your first new VCR, it is a wonder and marvel of modern technology. You can watch your favorite movies in your home anytime. WOW, you are so cool and lucky to have this treasure.

What did you end up doing with that amazing treasure when your home was taken over with DVD technology? Store it to become a dust collector? Sell it for $10 bucks? Throw it in the trash?

Your trash is another's treasure and your treasures are trash to someone else. This is important to realize.

The only thing with true eternal value that appreciates is your spirit of being. Your spirit of being is what temporarily assigns personal value or not and appreciation or depreciation to all else. There is GREAT power in realizing this about yourself and that you have been using this ability all along. The values we place on everything beyond spirit are not REAL and never were. They were and are illusions.

As quickly as you made something valuable to you, you can make something else just as valuable. You made having something of value to you and you have the power to make NOT having it a value to you with a change of perception about it.

How often to people ever realize the freedom from management and guardian care taking responsibility that comes along with loss? How many choose to revel in it instead of mourn in it? There's an upside to everything. Find it and revel in it instead of mourning losses and wasting away in a pile of self pity and suffering. It's only YOU who gives meaning and value to your own suffering. Quit giving it meaning, value and a reason to be. Place new meaning, value and reason upon life without it. :voila:

We are creative magicians surreal. Take your magic wand to anything that bugs you and bling it away by simply removing the value label YOU placed on it in the first place. Take that value label and stick it on something else like your ability to be able to do that in the first place.

Many ways to alleviate and nip suffering in the bud. Enjoy yourselves and your hearts desires! You'll be 6 feet under one day and just something as the mere ability to be cognitive with a pulse and breathing in a body would seem like the greatest treasure and gift to have. Your healthy alive body that you may treat like trash is the treasure of someone who found great joy in life breathing their last breath in this moment.

Don't waste your life suffering over losses or in pity parties of what you don't have. You always have creative ability to fall back on. It's your safety net. Spend your time appreciating and enjoying what you already have and creating ever anew with your ability to do so.

Real quick, for those of you who believe in some divine power or being, consider the bliss and joy its in and how it can have whatever it wants with its creative intelligent and its awesome power. It can't realize this through anything BUT YOU.

On a side note, joy and seriousness don't go together.

I have come to realize that serious states of being always come down to being in a state of fearing potential loss or feeling as if you have lost something. Pay attention to the nonsense you get serious about and look for where you have misplaced value attachments of yourself on. Remove them and let the joy and ease of living come back in.

:peace: :love;


--------------------
Ahuwale ka nane huna.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: fireworks_god]
    #5013947 - 12/04/05 03:28 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

Why gamble with one's peaceful, content experience by playing The Reality Must Fufill My Demand In Order For Myself To Be Satisfied game which will certainly inflict unnecessary suffering upon oneself as it is a diversion that is rigged so that you experience a loss?  To do so is ignorantly insane.



i don't think it's a choice, it's just how it is.  we evolved with desires for food, sex, companionship, because these things helped us to pass on our genes.

Quote:

You have no concept of the difference between an emotion-backed demand (which you refer to as desire) and that of a simple preference.



please educate me :smirk:

Quote:

Reality will unfold as it unfolds, and your stubborn will to demand and expect reality to conform to your ignorant "needs" is simply no match for it.



in some cases this is true, some cases this is not true.  it's definately not true in every case.  this morning i was hungry and ate breakfast.

if i have a need that's not being met, i can find some way to meet it.  i don't think needs have to have fixed objects.  consider tom hanks in castaway.  with no people, he started talking to a volleyball, because of his need for companionship.  having needs is not sufficient to make respond to life rigidly.  on the contrary, i think that repression causes rigidity.

Quote:

It is to be accepted as it decides to present itself. Utilizing preferences will effectively guide oneself into an enriching, satisfying, aware state of being without holding that state of being hostage in order to make a list of demands of reality, which wouldn't negotiate with you even if it was possible for it to do so.



how did i choose to be hungry this morning?

Quote:

Not everyone's mind operates with the same thought processes as you.



i'm confident that everyone has desires, feelings, &dreams.  neurobiologically i think it makes sense.  we can get into a philosophy of mind discussion about this.

consider the following argument:
the symbols a computer that processes has no meaning for it; yet the symbols a person processes has meaning for that person.

that's why i think that without meaning, there can be no mind.  consequently, i think that all consciousness evaluates.  so when a person tells me 'i have no desires' i don't believe it.  a person only stops desiring when they die.

Quote:

Desire simply isn't a part of the equation when it comes to a perspective that directly perceives reality without obstruction.  Desire itself binds one from being able to effectively attain whatever the desire demands in the first place.




incorrect.  desire is part of the equation.  ignoring my hunger or pretending it's not there doesn't make it go away.  perceiving reality without obstruction would therefore mean being aware of one's desires as well, for example hunger or loneliness.

Quote:

The desire doesn't create anything. The desire acts as an ineffcient, faulty catalyst that initiates the person suffering from such an infliction to take action that resulted in attaining possession over the car.



i'm not sure if the pain of growth is exactly what i would call suffering, since suffering in the buddhist context seems to have a merely negative context.  but maybe the concepts are linked for some people.

Quote:

There are more effective manners in which to attain possesion over the car or to arrive at any state which do not subsequently, ignorantly cause the experience of suffering for the person.



:confused: you're saying there's a more effective manner of attaining the car.  yet i never vouched for a particular way of attaining the car, i simply said the person attained it.

Quote:

Desire is a parasite. If it let you realize that it was parasitic in nature, then you wouldn't allow it - thus its survival would be threatened. The parasite is very effective at feeding off of you without you even realizing it is there; or, if you are aware of its presence, it brings you to misperceive it as an aspect of yourself acting in your favor. 



desire is always there.  even in the person who desires no desire.  even the monk desires the path of the monk.  even the buddhist desires enlightenment.  and desire is there whether or not it is satisfied.  i was hungry this morning and had i not eaten breakfast, i would have grown hungrier.

Quote:

Expel it!



do you fast when you grow hungry?  does fasting make the hunger disappear?

Quote:

There is no desire involved. Desire isn't necessary for your body to physically react to your hand's burning flesh by immediately taking action to remove the threat from oneself. It happens as a natural reaction. Desire seems to only apply when it comes to situations where we have invested emotional needs,



incorrect, look at food or sex or excreting, which are physical needs.

Quote:

but that there is no immediate threat to one's life that requires an unconscious, fight or flight reaction. It is an abstraction resulting from a poorly managed mind.



ah really.  so people have evolved for the desire for companionship for no reason.  our anscestors who were more social didn't out-compete our anscestors who were less social?

surely there's more to survival than fight or flight reactions.

furthermore what about the human desire to talk?  consider the experiement done by james pennebaker that showed that people who talk journalled about their most traumatic experience had better physical health months later than those who did not journal.

i really doubt that the distinction "emotional" vs "physical" needs are so clear-cut.

Quote:

Desire exists as that emotional need in order to manipulate the conscious mechanism into becoming unconscious and automatically allowing action to be taken to fufill that emotional need.



hunger is a fact; loneliness is a fact.  if a person who feels these things denies them, they are making these things unconscious.  your argument is tanatamount to saying that "if i see a crazed grizzly bear charging toward me, i will pretend its not there; getting out of its way, takes away from my consciousness."  on the contrary, appreciating desire, pain, etc, for what these things are- signals means that a person is more aware of their experience, not less aware.

Quote:

There is nothing beneficial in suffering from desire other than that, by suffering as a result of desire infecting your mind's thought processes, you become aware of the problem and thus have the oppurtunity to heal oneself of desire



why not heal oneself of the problem?  we evolved with a capacity to experience pain for a reason.  the reason is, pain is signal that something is bad for the person.  i just don't understand why people act like the pain is the problem, and not the source of the pain.  pan is a good thing!  it gives information!  those rare cases of people who do not experience pain almost always die early deaths!  pain is good.  what the pain signals is bad.

that's like the person who throws his tv out the window because he sees george bush on it and gets mad.  do you think throwing the tv out the window solves the problem?


--------------------
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OfflinePed
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5013964 - 12/04/05 03:32 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

I'm with Deviate 100% on this one. I'll touch on his points a little further.

Moonshoe and I agree in stating that there is nothing inherently wrong with the experience of pleasure, or our indulgence in the pleasures to which we feel especially inclined. We agree in that it is not the experience of pleasure which is problematic, but the craving which comes as a result of the experience, especially in cases of repeated experience.


>> So yeah. you dont need to renounce anything! you can fuck, drink, smoke dope, do whatever you want, but the key is to do it by way of accepting and acnowledging everything that comes into yoru experience, rather than always wishing for new things to come into your experience.

>> Like, dont sit around going "shit, i wish i had some weed" but if you DO have some weed, by all means, enjoy every puff! but when you run out, dont start thinking :shit i wish i had more: start thinking, i dunno, hey doesnt this blanket feel nice? or isnt the sky a lovely blue?

This is where Moonshoe and I part company on this contemplation. What it sounds like you're saying, Moonshoe, is that a person with a sufficiently enlightened attitude can get away with an essentially hedonistic and self-indulgent lifestyle. The idea here is that by pacifying our sense of want, we can enable ourselves to pursue and apprehend unconstrained pleasures without developing the later suffering of craving. If suppressing one's natural desires is one extreme, it sounds like you've gone to the other.

I'll agree that your idea sounds quite logical in theory, but in practice I think you'll find something quite different. You see, the experience of pleasure is by it's very nature an extreme; it's an unbalanced way of experiencing things, and it does not accord with reality. As such, these experiences invariably seed the potential for craving and dissatisfaction in our mind. Changing our conceptual attitude toward the experience of pleasure does not address our more subtle mental habits and inclinations, and it's here on this subtle level that craving takes root in our consciousness.

The experience of pleasure has three ingredients. The first ingredient is a fundamentally ignorant mind called self-grasping; this mind believes ourselves to be islands of existence, carrying on as phenomenon completely distinct from other phenomenon. This is the mind which allows us to make distinctions between what we enjoy and what we do not enjoy. The second ingredient is another ignorant mind called self-cherishing. Self-cherishing is the mind which develops aversion to what our self-grasping informs us we do not enjoy, and attraction to what our self-grasping informs us we do enjoy. The third and least significant ingredient is the actual sense experience.

Sensory experiences do not in themselves possess any intrinsic power to give rise to the experience of pleasure or pain. It's because this is true that sensory experiences cannot be considered inherently right or wrong, moral or immoral. Simultaneously, however, this truth informs us that sensory experiences are not inherently pleasurable or unpleasurable. And so it's the mind, particularly the self-grasping and self-cherishing mind, which makes the distinction between which sensory experiences are enjoyable and which are not.

Self-grasping and self-cherishing are minds which, by their very nature, relate to reality in an unbalanced and extreme fashion. They apprehend reality incorrectly, and it's this schism which creates the vast potential for the experience of true sufferings. So long as our sensory experience is interpreted through the minds of self-grasping and self-cherishing, our experiences of pleasure and satisfaction will always give rise to proportionate experiences of suffering and dissatisfaction.

We cannot uproot these minds simply by recognizing that it's the craving which is problematic and not the actual experience of pleasure. When we conceive a sensory experience as being pleasurable, already we have apprehended reality improperly and set ourselves up for problems. We cannot wage a purely conceptual war on our craving as you suggest, by continuously reminding ourselves that we do not need what we previously enjoyed, or by distracting ourself in other enjoyments, such as a blanket or the blue sky. This will only lead us into the experience of denial, whereby we are suppressing our craving while indulging ourself in enjoyments.

There are two extremes in play here. One extreme is found in suppressing our natural tedency toward pleasure, and the other extreme is found in suppressing the experience of dissatisfaction which comes as consequence of our continued indulgence. It is easy for us to see that bottling up our desires does not work. We cannot deprive ourself of sexual enjoyment, as one example, with an attitude of denial. This attitude allows the painful experience of craving to continue on unabated, because we have not addressed it's root cause. By the same token, however, suppressing our experience of craving with an attitude of denial also does not work. With this attitude, we disallow ourself to experience the dissasfaction of hunger and craving while we continue to neglect it's root cause. Because they are two polls of the same process, denial, both of these attitudes lead us to a place whereby we conceive of ourselves as advanced human beings when in fact we are ordinary beings bound up tightly in knots.

The key here is to distinguish between action and intention. Suppressing a desirous impulse is an action. The cause for doing so is the intention. By the same token, indulging in a desirous impulse is an action. The cause for doing so is the intention. If the intention is coloured by denial, which is a kind of ignorance, the action will bear only sour fruit. However, if the intention is coloured by wisdom, the action will bear the fruit of true and lasting happiness.

Indulging in a desirous impulse is never an action coloured by a wise intention, because the very conceptualization of pleasure is the product of self-grasping, which by it's nature is a mistaken and unbalanced mind. Until we uproot self-grasping, our experiences of pleasure and pain will be dependent-related experiences, and we will continue to cycle through them completely out of control. If we have the intention to uproot our self-grasping, we should not indulge in meaningless pleasures, because these experiences are like fuel which serves only to strengthen this mind of ignorance. If with the intention to uproot our self-grasping mind, the true cause of our suffering, we turn our backs on petty enjoyments, we will not enter in to an experience of denial, because our intent is coloured by wisdom. We have recognized the mechanincs of suffering and have set about the actual effort of disassembling that machine. This is the attitude of a renunciate: he or she renounces suffering and it's causes, and naturally avoids it's contributing factors.


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


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Edited by Ped (12/04/05 03:43 PM)


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Invisiblemoog
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5014092 - 12/04/05 04:06 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

"the root of suffering is desire"

I've found the exact opposite to be true. Lack of desire, lack of intent, and aimlessness leads to suffering as a result of stagnation. At least it did for me.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5014228 - 12/04/05 04:53 PM (16 years, 6 days ago)

Quote:

Moonshoe said:
lets say your walking on a forest path in the evening. you ascend a hill, just in time to see a glorious, spectacular sunset blazing the sky orange and pink.

Reality has presented you with this opportunity, fortune has conspired to put you in just such a position that you can view this miracluous sight.

Pleasure is found in the observation and acceptance of this beauty, even though until you saw it, you had no concious desire to watch a sunset.

when the sunset is over and the sky is dark, you are left feeling content and gratitude, but you have no desire for another sunset... the experience comes, you enjoy it, then you let it go. You spend no more time wishing the sunset hadnt ended, or that you could witness another one immediatly. rather, you now enjoy the stars of the night sky.

You drift with the flow of reality, accepting what comes and enjoying it, but not trying to force reality to conform to your constantly shifting desires, with the inevitable result of suffering.

in other words, rather than trying to force reality to meet your desires, through constant effort and activity, you bring your desires into accordance with what is, and just enjoy...





here's a poem by William Blake (i really like it and i've probably posted it like 5 times already but...)

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's :sun: rise

and here's a quote by him that kinda fits this thread also...

He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.



i think it's all about balance :yinyang:
you have to have some desire in life but you must also except everything you don't have the power to change!


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5018950 - 12/05/05 07:23 PM (16 years, 5 days ago)

Nice post, Moonshoe. :grin:

I think that there has been some muddling and mixing of terms in this discussion.  For the sake of clarity, I would like to suggest these definitions:

Need: essential to physical and/or emotional wellbeing.
Want/desire: important but not essential.
Addictive demand: a want which is falsely seen as a need.

OK, that said, neurosis arises when a want is transformed into an addictive demand.  We want the particular person we are in love with right now to love us back, to be around us regularly, to treat us with affection and respect, and to be sexually faithful.  These things are important, but not essential to our physical and/or emotional wellbeing.

The need in this scenario is the basic human need for companionship and belonging.  If we insist that our wants are actually needs, then we create suffering in our experience whenever those specific wants are frustrated.  We fool ourselves into believing that our wants are essential to our wellbeing, and sabotage our wellbeing to prove it.

Basic needs for food, sexual outlet, shelter, companionship, are often obscured and complicated by the heavy loads of wants we pile on top of them.

Yes, crunchytoast, you need to eat food.  You do not have a choice about whether you are hungry.  However, you want particular kinds of food.  You may want eggs for breakfast, rather than tuna fish.

If you recognize that this want is important, but not essential, you can accept that you do not have eggs, choose to eat the tuna fish to satisfy the need to eat, and move on with your day.  If you falsely believe this want for eggs is a need, and essential to your wellbeing, you may become upset over the lack of eggs, yell at your roommate for eating all the eggs (that selfish bastard!  :mad:), and tell yourself that your day is ruined.

That is the different between an emotion-backed demand/addiction and a preference.  If the frustration of a want (not a need) ruins your day, it is not a preference.  When basic needs go unmet, it will affect our physical and/or emotional wellbeing, even if we try to deny that a need has gone unmet.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5019247 - 12/05/05 08:25 PM (16 years, 5 days ago)

:thumbup:


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

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

With much wisdom comes much sorrow,
The more knowledge, the more grief.
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Icelander]
    #5019751 - 12/05/05 10:15 PM (16 years, 4 days ago)

"The eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal."
:tongue:


Edited by MushmanTheManic (12/05/05 10:16 PM)


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: MushmanTheManic]
    #5019841 - 12/05/05 10:32 PM (16 years, 4 days ago)

make yourself a plan
they need you at the top
then make yourself a second plan
and let the whole thing drop


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: rwilber]
    #5019857 - 12/05/05 10:34 PM (16 years, 4 days ago)

the root of suffering
is your own doing

in the next life don't check
that box


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5021058 - 12/06/05 01:28 AM (16 years, 4 days ago)

Quote:

Yes, crunchytoast, you need to eat food. You do not have a choice about whether you are hungry. However, you want particular kinds of food.




great post :thumbup:

yes-

(although as you noted, your use of "want" is specialized for the sake of clarity
-and so, doesn't comprise all "want"...)

but- the jist of what you said is exactly what i have in mind.  yet i feel like i don't get my point across in these threads.  as right as you are, i'm under the impression that many people are still going to walk away believing they can choose to be happy by "reprogramming" alone- which doesn't make sense:

if a need is real, then the need must be satisfied (i agree it can be tuna or eggs).  simply "reprogramming" one's brain, however, doesn't satisfy any need, cause a person's still got to eat in the first place.

this is the point i feel like i'm arguing; it's one of the points you've made in your post; yet as true and common-sensical this point is, you can bet your bottom dollar that its antithesis will remain popular.

perhaps this is because telling oneself that needs can be satisfied through force of will alone is much easier than taking responsibility for caring for those needs?


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5021400 - 12/06/05 02:44 AM (16 years, 4 days ago)

so are you saying that it would be impossible to die peacefully because your survival needs aren't being met?

or that it would be impossible to feel peaceful during a fast because your need to eat isn't being met?


you say that reprogamming the brain doesn't satisfy any need, this is true from the standpoint of the body but unture from standpoint of the mind. example, if my leg gets crushed the doctors might inject morphine -- changing my brain to make the pain go away. would this be useless because it doesn't heal my leg? the point is that the way you feel is not inextricably linked to any SINGULAR circumstance of your situation. this is proven by the fact that a sick person can fall to sleep and dream they are well or by the fact that a drug can make you feel happy despite having a crushed leg. these experiences would be impossible if your mental state was determined solely by the physical circumstance of your leg being crushed.

now maybe you could argue that reprograming the brain to maintain peace and composure despite unwanted circumstances such as impending death or bodily injury or lack of food is impossible without the help of temporary acting drugs (if so then you show should show evidence to support this as an impossibility because otherwise i have no reason to believe that). however if youre claim is that the need for mental peace cannot be filled when a particular physical need isn't met, then this is clearly false as i have shown.


Edited by Deviate (12/06/05 03:15 AM)


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OfflineDeviate
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5021530 - 12/06/05 03:18 AM (16 years, 4 days ago)


perhaps this is because telling oneself that needs can be satisfied through force of will alone is much easier than taking responsibility for caring for those needs?


but if you lack the discipline and repsonsibility to take care of your needs you obviously also lack the discipline to take care of them through will alone. if your will is that strong than pursuing your needs is just child's play.


Edited by Deviate (12/06/05 05:26 AM)


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5021816 - 12/06/05 04:47 AM (16 years, 4 days ago)

>> however if your claim is that the need for mental peace cannot be filled when a particular physical need isn't met, then this is clearly false as i have shown.

:thumbup: :thumbup:


I must say, I'm surprised at the pervasiveness of hedonism and hedonistic attitudes on this board.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5022279 - 12/06/05 09:46 AM (16 years, 4 days ago)

I'm not surprised at all. In fact it makes sense to me. We are brought up pretty joyless and without experince of who we are. Hedonism is a search for meaning. Skillful or Unskillful.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Simisu]
    #5023339 - 12/06/05 02:51 PM (16 years, 4 days ago)

Quote:

here's a poem by William Blake (i really like it and i've probably posted it like 5 times already but...)

He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's rise

and here's a quote by him that kinda fits this thread also...

He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.






another one...

Sooner murder an infant in its cradle than nurse unacted desires
-Blake --Proverbs of Hell


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5024911 - 12/06/05 08:05 PM (16 years, 4 days ago)

ok, well i have to start this late, but the way i have come to understand this concept is self-identity. First of all, the world is constantly changing, and nothing is permanent.. except one thing, but i'll get to that later. the question is who are we? who am i? what do we base our sense of self on.. the fact is you can base it on anything. for example say i saw a beautiful sunset, and i thought to myself, this is the greatest thing ever! and after that time, i spent my whole life searching for that beautiful sunset, when im not around this sunset, i dont feel good. I think that is the root in a practical sense. My point is, if you base yourself in something impermanent you will suffer. I guess this is more in regards to depression. ok now that i think about it, we desire because we want something to become part of us, to cure the emptiness inside, this is how i see hungry ghosts. The solution i have found is to base myself in something that i can control, mainly, myself. In fact, since i have done this, i rarely desire anything. I rarely buy things, i rarely do anything except chill out by myself and think, ponder, philosophize, daydream.

I guess my point falls apart though, because i suffer when i cant be alone, and have to socialize, go to school, or do anything else where i have to focus outside of myself.. ok, so that leads me to ask the question, what can i base myself in that will be somewhat effecient? i would like to be able to do anything i do well..


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5025232 - 12/06/05 09:20 PM (16 years, 4 days ago)

Quote:

so are you saying that it would be impossible to die peacefully because your survival needs aren't being met?



i don't know if a person can die peacefully if their survival needs aren't met. but i know they will die.

Quote:

or that it would be impossible to feel peaceful during a fast because your need to eat isn't being met?



i don't see why that would be impossible. people can feel many things at once. they can feel the pain of hunger, and they can feel peace about something, perhaps a spiritual idea in this case, at the same time. i don't think emotions are mutually exclusive.

perhaps by peaceful you mean, 'feels no hunger.' i doubt that's possible, although i don't doubt the almost unlimited ability of the mind to repress a painful feeling, like hunger.

Quote:

you say that reprogamming the brain doesn't satisfy any need,




maybe it satisfies the desire for some kind of mental stability. but it doesn't satisfy needs revealed by hunger, loneliness, etc.

Quote:

this is true from the standpoint of the body but unture from standpoint of the mind. example, if my leg gets crushed the doctors might inject morphine -- changing my brain to make the pain go away. would this be useless because it doesn't heal my leg?




i'm sure it would serve a purpose: it would make things more comfortable while you heal, satisfying a desire for comfort.

Quote:

the point is that the way you feel is not inextricably linked to any SINGULAR circumstance of your situation. this is proven by the fact that a sick person can fall to sleep and dream they are well or by the fact that a drug can make you feel happy despite having a crushed leg. these experiences would be impossible if your mental state was determined solely by the physical circumstance of your leg being crushed.




irrelevant. consider the example of the person who throws his tv out the window when he sees george bush on it. he could also change the channel. yet that doesn't solve the problem; it merely changes the signal he receives. if its possible for dream or drugs to trick the evolutionary apparatus of emotion into sending false signals, that does not mitigate the historic evolutionary utility of these signals; nor does it mitigate the utility of these signals in any situation other than drugs or dream. on the contrary, i have given multiple examples of such utility, for example the way hunger signifies lack of food, or the way loneliness signifies lack of companionship (although i agree that in altered states these inferences are inappropriate).

Quote:

now maybe you could argue that reprograming the brain to maintain peace and composure despite unwanted circumstances such as impending death or bodily injury or lack of food is impossible without the help of temporary acting drugs (if so then you show should show evidence to support this as an impossibility because otherwise i have no reason to believe that). however if youre claim is that the need for mental peace cannot be filled when a particular physical need isn't met, then this is clearly false as i have shown.




why would we have evolved with emotions, in your opinion, if it weren't because emotions provide valuable information about the status of an organism's needs (barring altered states)?

why is it that people who are born with pain tend to live short lives?

Quote:

perhaps this is because telling oneself that needs can be satisfied through force of will alone is much easier than taking responsibility for caring for those needs?

but if you lack the discipline and repsonsibility to take care of your needs you obviously also lack the discipline to take care of them through will alone.



i don't think it's possible to take care of needs through will alone. show me an example of someone filling their belly through "will" alone.

Quote:

if your will is that strong than pursuing your needs is just child's play.



yet even fakirs, who must have strong wills to accomplish those feats of asceticism, fast. even if your statement were true, you mistake capacity for action. the fakir example shows that having strong will alone is not sufficient for a person to go out and actively care for their needs.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5025376 - 12/06/05 09:50 PM (16 years, 3 days ago)

i don't see why that would be impossible. people can feel many things at once. they can feel the pain of hunger, and they can feel peace about something, perhaps a spiritual idea in this case, at the same time. i don't think emotions are mutually exclusive.

i never claimed they were mutually exlcusive.

perhaps by peaceful you mean, 'feels no hunger.' i doubt that's possible, although i don't doubt the almost unlimited ability of the mind to repress a painful feeling, like hunger.

i didn't mean "feels no lunger" but for the sake of argument it sounds like you are contracting yourself. you doubt its possible to not feel hunger yet you believe the mind has almost unlimited ability to repress the feeling of hunger? and for the record it is quite possible and doesn't even require effort. for example, if i skip a meal i feel very hungry for a little while during the time i would normally eat and then my stomach quiets down and i no longer feel hungry at all until later. i'm sure the same thing happens to people who fast, if you wish to find out, try it.



maybe it satisfies the desire for some kind of mental stability. but it doesn't satisfy needs revealed by hunger, loneliness, etc.


no one ever claimed it satisfied needs revealed by hunger. that's ridiculous.


i'm sure it would serve a purpose: it would make things more comfortable while you heal, satisfying a desire for comfort


that's exactly the purpose i was talking about. you claimed reprogramming the brain didn't satisfy any need and that's what i dissagreed with.


why would we have evolved with emotions, in your opinion, if it weren't because emotions provide valuable information about the status of an organism's needs (barring altered states)?

why is it that people who are born with pain tend to live short lives?


i never claimed emotions don't function to provide us with valuable information.

don't think it's possible to take care of needs through will alone. show me an example of someone filling their belly through "will" alone.

i never claimed this was possible either.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5026558 - 12/07/05 01:25 AM (16 years, 3 days ago)

Physical hunger has no bearing on our happiness unless we equate the satiatisfaction of our hunger with our happiness. Indeed, this is what desire is: apprehending an external circumstance, and then investing our mental wellbeing in that circmstance. If we are completely free from desire in this way, we would be able to starve even to death without losing a moment of our happiness. Of course we would not choose to die if we had the option, as that would not be especially productive.

There are stories about Tibetan monks who, suffering the many cruelties of Chinese occupation, explain that their only fear was losing their compassion for the Chinese soldiers. They explain that happiness cannot be consumed by guns or bombs or acts of torture, as these are external circumstances not intrinsic to the mind. Since happiness is a mental factor, only anger and hatred, which are also mental factors, can consume our happiness. Realizing this perfectly and completely is, in the Buddhist context, freedom from desire.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5027483 - 12/07/05 09:53 AM (16 years, 3 days ago)

Quote:

Physical hunger has no bearing on our happiness unless we equate the satiatisfaction of our hunger with our happiness. Indeed, this is what desire is: apprehending an external circumstance, and then investing our mental wellbeing in that circmstance. If we are completely free from desire in this way, we would be able to starve even to death without losing a moment of our happiness. Of course we would not choose to die if we had the option, as that would not be especially productive.



yet why would anyone even care about what's productive?

Quote:

There are stories about Tibetan monks who, suffering the many cruelties of Chinese occupation, explain that their only fear was losing their compassion for the Chinese soldiers. They explain that happiness cannot be consumed by guns or bombs or acts of torture, as these are external circumstances not intrinsic to the mind.



yet people's feelings are apparently dependant on their relationships to their external circumstances, by and large. and it's likely the cases where this does not appear so, are cases of repression. i really don't think this constitutes an explanation.

Quote:

Since happiness is a mental factor, only anger and hatred, which are also mental factors, can consume our happiness. Realizing this perfectly and completely is, in the Buddhist context, freedom from desire.



i'm not sure what you mean by happiness. satisfaction of a desire brings joy. for every desire that's not satisfied, a person experiences frustration or disappointment. does it not feel good to eat after a long period without food? does it not feel good to see a friendly face when one has been lonely? does it not feel good to get laid when one has been without sex? yet is hunger itself not a painful thing?

so i think the satisfaction/dissatisfaction of varying desires is what contributes to a person's happiness.
what else could happiness be but a condition of joy? what is joy but a good feeling? how could a person generate a state of joy spontaneously, when they would therefore have no reason for that joy? every emotion i can think of seems to have external cause. why would joy be any different?

consider a kid's birthday party and the look of joy on the kid's face- in those individuals who haven't yet learned the art of repression so well, it's apparent that joy has external cause.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5027935 - 12/07/05 12:17 PM (16 years, 3 days ago)

Ped hit the nail on its head ! Thank you !

That means, if someone would burn my hand, I could keep happy without removing it, while loving the person who burns my hand, what would not be very productive, it would be silly.
So 'transcendenting' 'needs' is unwise, while transcendenting 'desires' is a skillful budhist way.
It's often hard to keep the line between !

Next we have to declare the difference between needs and desires...


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5027963 - 12/07/05 12:23 PM (16 years, 3 days ago)

Quote:

i'm not sure what you mean by happiness. satisfaction of a desire brings joy. for every desire that's not satisfied, a person experiences frustration or disappointment.




I have to disagree.  Only an emotionally disordered person responds with frustration and disappointment to every desire which is not satisfied.  I picture a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum because he has to take a nap, or share his toys, or leave the playground to go home.  Desires are not the same as basic human needs. 

Before I discovered methods for "taming my mind" and used them to develop an orderly response system, I would react with negative thoughts to every frustrated desire.  These thoughts would create anger, sadness, disappointment. 

When I "catch" myself doing this now, I can mentally shift & regain my perspective.  I'll ask myself "is this a want or a need?"  If it is a want (95% of the time), I will do my best to let go of it & accept that I do not always get what I want. (No matter how much I want it. :grin:)

In my experience, this process clears the clutter which is obscuring my happiness.  It seems that my "natural" state is joy.  When I relax into my experience, and surrender to whatever reality contains at the moment, I find myself joyful.  This joy is not reliant on any external stimuli, and is always there waiting for me as soon as I am through with my temper tantrum. :grin:

Quote:

what else could happiness be but a condition of joy? what is joy but a good feeling? how could a person generate a state of joy spontaneously, when they would therefore have no reason for that joy? every emotion i can think of seems to have external cause. why would joy be any different?




IMO true happiness is not conditional.  Sometimes we are "tricked" into relaxing and enjoying ourselves because we judge our external circumstances as safe or pleasant.  This is not the same as choosing to accept reality even if it appears dangerous/scary and unpleasant.  It seems to me that rejecting reality, denying the content of our experience, obscures our natural state of happiness.

As I have said before, emotions do not have an external cause.  We may stimulate emotional reactions to external stimuli, but the cause is always internal, subjective, and possible to change.

Quote:

consider a kid's birthday party and the look of joy on the kid's face-in those individuals who haven't yet learned the art of repression so well, it's apparent that joy has external cause.





:lol:  I have spent three decades raising kids--other people's and my own--and I have seen all the evidence I need to know that kids learn to "save" their joy for experiences which adults view as pleasing.  My 5-year-old son can feel as much joy wrestling on the living room floor or taking a bath or walking to the store as he does at a party.  Once kids pick up on the idea that adults partition off their "fun" from every day experience, they begin to lose touch with their joyful nature.  Relying on external stimuli to activate our joy is a learned behavior, not a natural correlation.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5028400 - 12/07/05 02:43 PM (16 years, 3 days ago)

>> yet why would anyone even care about what's productive?

Because generally speaking, and as well from the Buddhist point of view, it is more helpful to stay alive then to die, especially if we have encountered a spiritual path.


>> yet people's feelings are apparently dependant on their relationships to their external circumstances, by and large. and it's likely the cases where this does not appear so, are cases of repression. i really don't think this constitutes an explanation.

People's feelings are, to varying degrees, dependent on their relationship to their external circumstances. It is near the root of all the suffering and problems in the world today. I'm not sure if I understand how stopping this dependence between our state of mind and our external environment equates to repression. Simply because we all behave a certain way does not mean that such behavior is natural. It is not in our nature to suffer; if it was in our nature to suffer we would not be displeased when we have to endure it. In fact the experience of suffering is quite unnatural. It comes from the mistaken mind which invests it's happiness in a highly transient external world. Because they do not lead us to our natural state, joy, uprooting our desires is not a kind of repression. It is a kind of freedom from oppression.


>> i'm not sure what you mean by happiness. satisfaction of a desire brings joy. for every desire that's not satisfied, a person experiences frustration or disappointment.

The difference between authentic happiness and the happiness which comes from the satisfaction of our desires is as follows. Authentic happiness is a more permanent state of being; it actually has the power to protect us from the experience of suffering. The feeling of elation which comes from the mere satisfaction of our desires is extremely temporary. The moment our mind distracts in to something else, the happiness that came from the fulfillment of our desire disappears, and we return to a kind of neutrality.

Moreover, the elated feeling which came from the satisfaction of our desire is very unstable. If something should appear that does not please us, or frustrates another of our many multitudes of desires, our happiness disappears. In this way, when we look outward for the conditions of our happiness, our happiness becomes as impermanent and unreliable as the external world. We begin resemble mad men, who flail about out of control, laughing one minute and crying the next.

In this way, the happiness which comes from the satisfaction of our desires actually sets us up for the future experience of flatness or disappointment. Because of this it is not real happiness; it is only a feeling of elation. Real happiness has the power to protect us from suffering in that it is something which depends on internal circumstances. When we have generated a kind of happiness which depends on internal circumstances alone, we have generated contentment. An individual who has developed profound contentment is not vulnerable to the unceasing fluctuations of the external world. He or she is truly happy.


>> does it not feel good to eat after a long period without food? does it not feel good to see a friendly face when one has been lonely? does it not feel good to get laid when one has been without sex? yet is hunger itself not a painful thing?

Hunger itself can be very painful. However, it does not have the power to preturb our happiness unless we invest our happiness in the circumstances which satisfy our hunger. If we have invested our happiness in these circumstances, when they do not appear we shall experience not only the pain of hunger, but the pain of mental unrest as well.

It feels wonderful to eat after going hungry, or to see a friend when we're feeling lonely. An orgasm can often be the peak of enjoyment a person ever achieves; it is a fantastic feeling. However, after we have eaten, no sooner are we hungry again. Not long after our conversation with our friend, he or she goes back home to his family and we are alone again. Not long after our orgasm with our partner, he or she leaves us, either by death, her own will, or other circumstances.

The probelm with these experiences is that they all have a definite and inevitable cessation. They all transform in to the later experience of pain. If eating food was an actual source of true happiness, then it should not have the power ever to produce suffering. Every bite we take should only increase our sense of bliss more and more. Yet when we overeat, our pleasurable experience quickly becomes a painful experience, and we feel as though our stomach is about to burst outward. We might be in pain for many hours, and may even vomit. This is because happiness is not an intrinsic quality of consuming food. The same can be said about sexual intercourse, or companionship with our friends.


>> so i think the satisfaction/dissatisfaction of varying desires is what contributes to a person's happiness.

Our happiness depends on external circumstances inasmuch as we believe it to be true. It is the prevailing assumption that we must arrange our external world in such a way that it is condusive to our happiness. As a material-oriented society, we have become masters of rearranging the external world in ways that suit our wishes. Yet we have not attained a higher level of happiness than what was seen in the previous centuries. In fact, we might even be able to say that our happiness has actually decreased with each generation.

I once met a married couple who own a 25 acre estate on the beautiful Alberta countryside, a short drive from the city. They own a luxury car, a sports car, a luxury SUV, and a truck in their garage. They had two wonderful, well-behaved children, and were both physically fit and healthy. They are both executives for a local oil company. Their jobs are very secure, and earn them millions of dollars every year. Their fridge and cupboards are filled with endless varities of gourmet foods. They have a swimming pool and a hot tub in one of their many living rooms. They have endless arrays of electronics all throughout their home. They travel all over the world to exotic and tropical locations. Their every need is tended to by hired help; they do not even need to do their own laundry. Truly, every desire they could possibly conceive of was met, and then some.

These were the two most miserable people I have ever encountered in my life, hands down. They constantly fought and bickered with each other over the most petty things. The slighest scuff on the floor or spot of dirt on the counter filled them with anger. They scolded me for stepping one inch out of their front entrance with my shoes on. They repeatedly expressed worry over aging and sickness. A mechanical problem with one of their four luxury cars caused them no end of headache. Both of them were addicted to cigarettes, one of them to alcohol, and at the risk of admitting my nosey intrusion, I once peeked in their medicine cabinet and saw an array of antidepressant medications there. If our external circumstances actually had the power to make us happy, then these people, who've had unmitigated success in attaining the fulfillment of all of their worldly desires, should be among the happiest people alive. But they are the opposite.

One reason external circumstances have no power to fulfil us it that they are never enough. Even when every possible external circumstance has been arranged for our happiness, still our mind finds reasons to become unhappy. This is because we have neglected to invest ourself in our internal environment, which is the true source of happiness and joy.

The reason we keep investing ourself in the external world is that we believe this is the way to be happy. There are many easily observable facts that show such an investment brings only faulty returns. For example, aging, sickness and death rob us of all our possessions. They take away even our mobility. Everything we ever possess is ultimately destroyed by death. Why invest ourself in such things?

If we can stop investing ourself in the external world, which in any case we cannot control and cannot predict, and begin investing ourself in the internal world, we shall uncover a kind of contentment that brings about true happiness and true joy. Happiness and joy are true inasmuch as they are stable within our mind.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5031772 - 12/08/05 01:17 AM (16 years, 2 days ago)

I was reading through some texts and came across some excerpts which are absolutely relevant and much more skilfully worded. Since this thread is about Buddhism and Desire, why not get it straight from the horse's mouth? The following words are translated directly from the transcriptions of oral discourses Buddha himself gave in India. I have bolded excerpts with special relevance to this discussion.



Greed, anger and foolishness are like a fever. If a man gets this fever, even if he lies in a comfortable room, he will suffer and be tormented by sleeplessness.

Those who have no such fever have no difficulty in sleeping peacefully, even on a cold winter night, on the gruond with only a thin covering of leaves, or on a hot summer's night in a small closed room.

These three -- greed, anger, and foolishness -- are, therefore, sources of all human woe. To get rid of these sources of woe, one must observe the precepts, must practise concentration of mind and must have wisdom. Observance of the precepts will remove the impurities of greed; right concentration of mind will remove the impurities of anger; and wisdom will remove the impurities of foolishness.

Human desires are endless. It is like the thirst of a man who drinks salt water: he gets no satisfaction and his thirst is only increased.

So it is with a man who seeks to gratify his desires; he only gains increased dissatisfaction and his woes are multiplied.

The gratification of desires never satisfies; it always leaves behind the unrest and irritation that can never be allayed, and then, if the gratification of his desires is thwarted, it will often drive him "insane."

To satisfy their desires, people will struggle and fight with each other, king against king, vassal againast vassal, parent against child, brother against brother, sister agains sister, friend against friend; they will fight and even kill each other to satisfy their desires.

People often ruin their lives in the attempt to satisfy their desires. They will steal and cheat and commit adultery, and then, being caught, will suffer from the digrace of it and its punishment.

They will sin* with their own bodies and words, sin with their own minds, knowing perfectly well that the gratification will ultimately bring unhappiness and and suffering, so imperious is desire. And then, the various sufferings in the following world and the agonies of falling into it will follow.

Of all the worldly passions, lust is the most intense. All other worldly passions seem to follow in its train.

Lust seems to provide the soil in which other passions flourish. Lust is like a demon that eats up all the good deeds of the world. Lust is a viper hiding in a flower garden; it poisons those who come in search only of beauty. Lust is a vine that climbs a tree and spreads over the branches until the tree is strangled. Lust insinuates it's tentacles into human emotions and sucks away the good sense of the mind until the mind withers. Lust is a bait that foolish people snap at and are dragged down into the depths of an evil world.

If a dry bone is smeared with blood a dog will gnaw at it until he is tired and frustrated. Lust to a man is precisely like this bone to a dog; he will covet it until he is exhausted.

If a single piece of meat is thrown to two wild beasts they will fight and claw each other to get it. A man foolish enough to carry a torch against the wind will likely burn himself. Like these two beasts and this foolish man, people hurt and burn themselves because of their worldly desires.

It is easy to shield the outer body from poisoned arrows, but it is impossible to shield the mind from the poisoned darts that originate within itself. Greed, anger, foolishness and the infatuations of egoism -- these four poisoned darts originate within the mind and infect it with deadly poison.

If people are infected with greed, anger and foolishness, they will lie, cheat, abuse and be double-tongued, and, then will actualize their words by killing, stealing, and committing adultery.

Greed, lust, fear, anger, misfortune and unhappiness all derive from foolishness. Thus, foolishness is the greats of the poisons.

From desire action follows; from action suffering follows; desire action and suffering a like a wheel rotating endlessly.

The rolling of this wheel has no beginning and no end; people cannot escape such reincarnation. One life follows another life according to this transmigrating cycle in endless recurrence.

If one were to pile the ashes and bones of himself burnt in this everlasting transmigration, the pile would be mountain high; if one were to collect the milk of mothers which he suckled during his transmigration, it would be deeper than the sea.

Although the nature of Buddhahood is possessed by all people, it is buried so deeply in the defilements of worldly passion that it long remains unknown. That is why suffering is so universal and why there is this endless recurrence of miserable lives.

But, just as by yielding to greed, anger and foolishness, evil deeds are acculmulated and condition rebirth, so, by following these teachings, the evil sources will be cleared away and rebirth in the world of suffering will be ended.



* Sin in the Buddhist context refers to any self-destructive action of body, speech, or mind carried out because of ignorance.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5032135 - 12/08/05 02:17 AM (16 years, 2 days ago)

Quote:

I have to disagree. Only an emotionally disordered person responds with frustration and disappointment to every desire which is not satisfied. I picture a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum because he has to take a nap, or share his toys, or leave the playground to go home.



that's how the person acts, not how they feel.  a person can feel frustration, etc, but not act like a 2 yr old.

Quote:

Desires are not the same as basic human needs.



yet according to your definition of these concepts, every need requires a desire.  the need for food requires a desire for tuna if not eggs, for example.

Quote:

my perspective. I'll ask myself "is this a want or a need?" If it is a want (95% of the time), I will do my best to let go of it & accept that I do not always get what I want. (No matter how much I want it. )



maybe you are pushing from awareness what evolution gave you to give you information about your relationship to your environment?

Quote:

In my experience, this process clears the clutter which is obscuring my happiness. It seems that my "natural" state is joy. When I relax into my experience, and surrender to whatever reality contains at the moment, I find myself joyful. This joy is not reliant on any external stimuli, and is always there waiting for me as soon as I am through with my temper tantrum.



your joy sounds related to surrendering control.  my guess is that just as humans need to feel power, they also need to feel some degree of powerlessness.  in fact, this would explain a number of aspects of human behavior.


Quote:

IMO true happiness is not conditional. Sometimes we are "tricked" into relaxing and enjoying ourselves because we judge our external circumstances as safe or pleasant. This is not the same as choosing to accept reality even if it appears dangerous/scary and unpleasant. It seems to me that rejecting reality, denying the content of our experience, obscures our natural state of happiness.



acceptance is different from joy.  a terminally ill person in a state of denial, can move into acceptance of their impending death, yet not find joy in the prospect.  in fact, i would argue that full acceptance means accepting negative emotions for what they are, rather than second-guessing them.

Quote:

As I have said before, emotions do not have an external cause. We may stimulate emotional reactions to external stimuli, but the cause is always internal, subjective, and possible to change.



perhaps the mouse who sees the cat runs away due to internal cues?  for what is fear but an arbitrary choice, with no meaning?  :rolleyes:

Quote:

I have spent three decades raising kids--other people's and my own--and I have seen all the evidence I need to know that kids learn to "save" their joy for experiences which adults view as pleasing.



i've seen plenty of kids cry.  what makes joy more innate than sadness?

Quote:

My 5-year-old son can feel as much joy wrestling on the living room floor or taking a bath or walking to the store as he does at a party.



yet a child will sometimes experience sadness in other situations.  what makes one the child's nature and not the other?

wrestling: indeed, if your son were intrinsically joyful, then why would he wrestle at all?  why not just sit there like an inanimate object?


--------------------
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Edited by crunchytoast (12/08/05 02:44 AM)


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5032213 - 12/08/05 02:42 AM (16 years, 2 days ago)

Quote:

generally speaking, and as well from the Buddhist point of view, it is more helpful to stay alive then to die, especially if we have encountered a spiritual path.



why should a buddhist care about what's helpful?  helpful in terms of what?  what should the buddhist or anyone else care about helping?  is this not desire?

Quote:

suffering... comes from the mistaken mind which invests it's happiness in a highly transient external world.



how does the hungry person invest hunger in something intransient?

Quote:

Hunger itself can be very painful. However, it does not have the power to preturb our happiness unless we invest our happiness in the circumstances which satisfy our hunger.



what about loneliness?  is this not a need analogous to hunger?

Quote:

The probelm with these experiences is that they all have a definite and inevitable cessation.



so does human life; and therefore so does the happiness your philosophy promises.  so this is hardly a reasonable objection.

secondly, do practitioners of this philosophy ever fall off the wagon?  or do they reach the enlightenment of perpetual happiness and never turn back?  and if they fall off the wagon, why do they fall off the wagon? where are these perpetual smilers who forever haunt our world with nightmarish grimace?

:smile: :smile: :smile: :smile: :smile: :whoa:

or perhaps there are no such people; perhaps there could be no such people; perhaps our humanity forbids it; indeed perhaps happiness is temporary even for practioners of this philosophy and ...what does that say?

perhaps that the psyche is no ivory tower; that it is forever constructed out of contingencies; no matter where it is, or what it's doing, it's entelechy is dependant on external factors, and when these external factors change - as they inevitably do, due to their intransient natures- so too these momentary illusions of perpetual joy.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5032385 - 12/08/05 03:44 AM (16 years, 2 days ago)

well i had a whole long reply typed out but somehow in editing it i managed to accidentally delete several important parts and because it's late i don't have time to retype it so disregard this post.


Edited by Deviate (12/08/05 03:58 AM)


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OfflinePed
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5032402 - 12/08/05 03:51 AM (16 years, 2 days ago)

>> why should a buddhist care about what's helpful? helpful in terms of what? what should the buddhist or anyone else care about helping? is this not desire?

A desire is problematic if it invests in external conditions. The desire to turn our attention inward is different in that respect. It is a virtuous desire. The desire to help others put a stop to their suffering is a virtuous desire: it does not invest happiness in transient circumstances. Rather, it helps others stop this habit.

This is why Buddhists have started using the term "desirous attachment" to imply the kind of desire which invests itself in external conditions. Merely having a wish or an intention is not the same as desirous attachment.


>> how does the hungry person invest hunger in something intransient?

By remaining content in spite of their hunger or the possibility that they might die of hunger.


>> what about loneliness? is this not a need analogous to hunger?

It is quite a bit more complicated than hunger, but we can say it is analogous in that there is a kind craving involved. There is a difference between the physical sensation of hunger and the feeling of craving we impute upon that physical sensation. They are not intrinsic to each other. We cannot put a stop to the physical sensation of hunger, but we can put a stop to the craving we impute upon that sensation.

By the same token, we can put a stop to the idea that our own happiness depends on regular contact with other people.


>> so does human life; and therefore so does the happiness your philosophy promises. so this is hardly a reasonable objection.

I do not subscribe to the idea that consciousness ceases at the time of physical death. Ego-consciousness does cease, but something more subtle carries the potentials, and the happiness we have generated, on in to the next life. I do not expect you to share these views, and they are not views entirely relevant to this discussion.

However, even in the context of only one human life, we can cultivate a happiness that never leaves us until our death time. It is not necessary to constantly fluctuate between elation, neutrality, and depression in the way that we normally do.


>> secondly, do practitioners of this philosophy ever fall off the wagon? or do they reach the enlightenment of perpetual happiness and never turn back?

Until practitioners attain enlightenment, they make countless mistakes caused by their desirous attachment.


>> or perhaps there are no such people; perhaps there could be no such people; perhaps our humanity forbids it; indeed perhaps happiness is temporary even for practioners of this philosophy and ...what does that say?

I cannot argue mere speculation.


>> perhaps that the psyche is no ivory tower; that it is forever constructed out of contingencies; no matter where it is, or what it's doing, it's entelechy is dependant on external factors,

The psyche, if that's the term we are using, is constructed out of contingencies. It's entelechy is dependent on external factors. However, these circumstances are optional.


>> and when these external factors change - as they inevitably do, due to their intransient natures- so too these momentary illusions of perpetual joy.

Exactly. This is precisely the reason the experience of suffering is so universal. Such suffering, however, has a cause. That cause is desirous attachment and it's contributing factors. Because it has a cause, it can be ended. Mindfulness and awareness bring about an end to suffering.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5032460 - 12/08/05 04:14 AM (16 years, 2 days ago)

just to add one thing, if you want an example of someone who embodied happiness throughout his entire adult life study the life of teachings of ramana maharshi. even when he was dying of cancer his peace never wavered and by the doctors account he refused anesthetic during his operations. when asked if it hurt he said "the body felt pain, am i the body?". this happened as recently as 1950 and is supported by accounts from individuals such as carl jung. even krishnamurti who "felt very strongly that all teachers -- Buddha, Jesus, Sri Ramakrishna, everybody -- kidded themselves, deluded themselves and deluded everybody" was changed by his visit with ramana maharshi.


Edited by Deviate (12/08/05 04:25 AM)


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5034799 - 12/08/05 06:15 PM (16 years, 2 days ago)

wow ! this is beutifull! all of you are putting such awesome thoughts into this thread, and ive really enjoyed reading them all! getting alot out of it. sadly, my mind can only hold so much at a time, so i had to stop at a certain point if i want to remember what anyone said well enough to respond.

so...

Deviate

:thumbup:

awesome post, and deep thoughts.I get alot out of what you say.First off, let me say that i in no way hold "anti monk" sentiments. I think that the detachment from the sensory world and the total devotion to the source (what i see as monkish philosophy) is an extremely noble path, one of the highest paths we can take. I have considerd becoming a monk myself, although i have decided to wait until later in my life to make such a momentous decision.

One thing i get from your post, with regards to your masterbating and smoking weed etc, is this: its not what you do. no philosophy or way of life works for everyone. we are all unique souls. what i see in your posts is that you are self aware. that is, you are able to feel the effects of certain activities on your spiritual well being and change your life to suit that... and i think thats what its all about!

you are doing what is right for you, and thats the key. The thing is, whats right for you is not identical to whats right for everyone else (i know you didnst say it was) by which i mean, the effect masturbating has on you is totally different than the effect masturbating has on me (same with smoking weed)

:stoned:


so while renunciation of those things is the right course for you, i dont yet htink it is for me. neither path is higher or lower, all that matters is that we are true to our own spiritual best interests. i really do agree with and respect your way of life. Sometimes we read each other (me and you) as criticizing each others ways of lfie, but really were just sharing what works for us anyways, you got  your head straight man.

ped:

:yinyang:
as always, the depth of your wisdom is humbeling. thanks for taking the time to write that.

i smiled when i was reading your post, because i agree so totally with you, and you misunderstood me so completely (by which i should say, i failed so completely to communicate what i was trying to communicate)

the problem was in the examples i used. the expamples i chose reflected my current state of mind and my own experience, and it translated badly.

you said "it sounds like you are advocating a life of hedonism..."

and indeed, it did sound exactly like that, but that was not at all my intention. i tried to clarify myself in my later posts.

you talked about the various ignorant states of mind:

1. believing you are an island into yourself, seperate from the greater whole
2. believing that you need to do what your ego tells you you need to do to be happy
3. believing that any given sensory experience is inherently good or bad

i agree totally that all those things are delusion! moreover, i have jsut recently started living by the opposite mindstates/

the funny thing is that this is actually waht i was trying to get at with my post... desire is a sign that you are still stuck believing that any thing can make you happy or sad. liberation is knowing that happiness and sadness, desire and contentment, are choices!

i was trying to convey a philosophy of unconditional acceptance, acceptance without preferance (freedom from ego mind) and love for everything. love for the coming and the going of any given sensation.

what i was trying to imply was a liberated mindset where one takes joy in what comes and releases effortlessly to what goes. Go with the flow. Surrender to tao, etc.

i DID not mean to imply that we can recklessly lose our centers in life (indulging in extremes) without suffering the consequences. what goes up must come down, and everything gives rise to its opposite, after all.

i try to live life as a calm, placid, self composed center, and the center of myself is the center of everything, the source. all desire, all fear, all anxiety, comes when we leave that center..

anyways im rambeling. i dont know whether i can explain what im trying to say now any better than i did earlier, but believe me when i say ped
what you thought i was saying is not at all what i was trying to say


but the fault was all mine. i was careless in my wording.

Love you all
thanks for the chat.

ill be back

:grin:


ICE: :hug:


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5035182 - 12/08/05 07:33 PM (16 years, 2 days ago)

:hug: :1up:


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5035321 - 12/08/05 08:02 PM (16 years, 2 days ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
Quote:

I have to disagree. Only an emotionally disordered person responds with frustration and disappointment to every desire which is not satisfied. I picture a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum because he has to take a nap, or share his toys, or leave the playground to go home.



that's how the person acts, not how they feel.  a person can feel frustration, etc, but not act like a 2 yr old.




I am saying that reacting in an emotionally disordered way to every frustration is the mental/emotional version of a temper tantrum.

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
Quote:

Desires are not the same as basic human needs.



yet according to your definition of these concepts, every need requires a desire.  the need for food requires a desire for tuna if not eggs, for example.




No, the need for food is physiological, not mental/emotional.  If we do not eat some variety of food, we will eventually starve to death.  The want/desire for a particular food is not a life or death issue.

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
Quote:

my perspective. I'll ask myself "is this a want or a need?" If it is a want (95% of the time), I will do my best to let go of it & accept that I do not always get what I want. (No matter how much I want it. )




maybe you are pushing from awareness what evolution gave you to give you information about your relationship to your environment?





There is a difference between being aware of something and being fixated on it.  I did not say I repress what I am feeling, or try to distract myself, I said that I "let go" and "accept" the reality of my not getting exactly what I want.

What possible benefit would there be to my having a negative reaction to a frustrated, non-essential want?

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
Quote:

In my experience, this process clears the clutter which is obscuring my happiness. It seems that my "natural" state is joy. When I relax into my experience, and surrender to whatever reality contains at the moment, I find myself joyful. This joy is not reliant on any external stimuli, and is always there waiting for me as soon as I am through with my temper tantrum.




your joy sounds related to surrendering control.  my guess is that just as humans need to feel power, they also need to feel some degree of powerlessness.  in fact, this would explain a number of aspects of human behavior.




:rotfl:  Who said we were in control in the first place?  I meant surrender as opposed to resistance.  Resisting and denying the reality of our experience is a sure-fire method for creating misery.

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
Quote:

IMO true happiness is not conditional. Sometimes we are "tricked" into relaxing and enjoying ourselves because we judge our external circumstances as safe or pleasant. This is not the same as choosing to accept reality even if it appears dangerous/scary and unpleasant. It seems to me that rejecting reality, denying the content of our experience, obscures our natural state of happiness.



acceptance is different from joy.  a terminally ill person in a state of denial, can move into acceptance of their impending death, yet not find joy in the prospect.  in fact, i would argue that full acceptance means accepting negative emotions for what they are, rather than second-guessing them.




Does accepting negative emotions mean that you continue to use unskillful methods of self-management to recreate those negative emotions again and again?  You seem to confuse rational thinking methods with repression.

OK, say I accept the reality that my hand hurts every time I bash it against a brick wall.  Damn, that really smarts!  Why can't brick walls be softer?  Why does my hand have to be so sensitive!  This is such a drag.  Oh, well, I guess it is a fact that this experience will recur every time I repeat this action.  Bummer.

Do I return the next day and bash my hand against that wall?  If I refrain from hitting that wall, am I repressing the pain which results from my action, or eliminating the actual cause of my pain: my unskillful actions?

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
Quote:

As I have said before, emotions do not have an external cause. We may stimulate emotional reactions to external stimuli, but the cause is always internal, subjective, and possible to change.




perhaps the mouse who sees the cat runs away due to internal cues?  for what is fear but an arbitrary choice, with no meaning?  :rolleyes:





The key word is "possible" to change.  Some instinctive and learned internal emotional responses are useful and healthy.  There is no reason to change those responses.  It is only the responses which do not serve our wellbeing, and may undermine it, which are targeted for change.

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
Quote:

I have spent three decades raising kids--other people's and my own--and I have seen all the evidence I need to know that kids learn to "save" their joy for experiences which adults view as pleasing.




i've seen plenty of kids cry.  what makes joy more innate than sadness?




Joy seems to persist until disturbed by negativity, whereas sadness appears in response to an unwanted experience, and lessens as the unwanted experience ends or is lost to the past.


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5036373 - 12/08/05 11:35 PM (16 years, 1 day ago)

Quote:

>> why should a buddhist care about what's helpful? helpful in terms of what? what should the buddhist or anyone else care about helping? is this not desire?

A desire is problematic if it invests in external conditions. The desire to turn our attention inward is different in that respect. It is a virtuous desire. The desire to help others put a stop to their suffering is a virtuous desire: it does not invest happiness in transient circumstances. Rather, it helps others stop this habit.



yet helping others is dependant on external conditions; what if i am unable to help if i think i am?
also i have a question, is wanting a flashy car to boost self-esteem an inward or outward focus of attention? (since my self-esteem is internal, i wonder what your answer is). surely the desire for a new car is problematic according to your philosophy, because, even though self-esteem is internal, the object of desire is conditioned in nature.
yet this must also be true of desire for happiness, since desire for happiness is so conditioned.

Quote:

This is why Buddhists have started using the term "desirous attachment" to imply the kind of desire which invests itself in external conditions. Merely having a wish or an intention is not the same as desirous attachment.



yet practioners of this philosophy seem to hold desirous attachment to happiness. indeed, desire is inescapable, and any philosophy whose aim is escape from desire (while living) is doomed to failure.

Quote:

>> how does the hungry person invest hunger in something intransient?
By remaining content in spite of their hunger or the possibility that they might die of hunger.



yet the loneliness (since that's a clearer example) is saddening, and if they are happy they are happy for another reason, and experience both sadness and happiness at once, but in respect to different things.

Quote:

>> what about loneliness? is this not a need analogous to hunger?
It is quite a bit more complicated than hunger, but we can say it is analogous in that there is a kind craving involved. There is a difference between the physical sensation of hunger and the feeling of craving we impute upon that physical sensation. They are not intrinsic to each other. We cannot put a stop to the physical sensation of hunger, but we can put a stop to the craving we impute upon that sensation.



what is hunger but a sign of the craving? why have we evolved with the capacity for hunger? it's not some accidental thing. evolution gives us feelings to notify us of the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of our needs.

Quote:

By the same token, we can put a stop to the idea that our own happiness depends on regular contact with other people.



this is not true of happiness in relation to loneliness. as hunger is always painful, loneliness is always painful, even if a person is pleased about other things besides the loneliness/hunger/etc

Quote:

I do not subscribe to the idea that consciousness ceases at the time of physical death. Ego-consciousness does cease, but something more subtle carries the potentials, and the happiness we have generated, on in to the next life. I do not expect you to share these views, and they are not views entirely relevant to this discussion.



these views are relevant because it determines whether so-called enlightenment is itself a conditioned state of being. for if it is a conditioned state of being, then it cannot escape condtionality, which is precisely what the concept, as you define it, is predicated on. secondly, what evidence do you have that these emotions (which from our knowledge of neuroscience seem to be located in certain areas of the brain) are located anywhere but these areas of the brain (that themselves decay upon death)?

Quote:

However, even in the context of only one human life, we can cultivate a happiness that never leaves us until our death time. It is not necessary to constantly fluctuate between elation, neutrality, and depression in the way that we normally do.



depression is not the opposite of elation; sadness is. sadness and depression are totally different concepts.
anyway, regarding this mystical happiness -which i see absolutely no evidence for and i suspect to be a modern-day unicorn, zeus, or jesus- what exactly is such a person happy about?
because whenever i look at people who are happy, they seem to be happy for particular reasons- accomplishing something, finding some kb, winning the lottery, whatever.

Quote:

>> secondly, do practitioners of this philosophy ever fall off the wagon? or do they reach the enlightenment of perpetual happiness and never turn back?
Until practitioners attain enlightenment, they make countless mistakes caused by their desirous attachment.



sounds like religious baloney to me. who are these people? where are they? do they feel pain? do they feel hunger if you take them from food? do they feel loneliness if you take them from people? do they feel the pain of compassion for their fellow human beings?

Quote:

>> perhaps that the psyche is no ivory tower; that it is forever constructed out of contingencies; no matter where it is, or what it's doing, it's entelechy is dependant on external factors,
The psyche, if that's the term we are using, is constructed out of contingencies. It's entelechy is dependent on external factors. However, these circumstances are optional.



so if i shoot the enlightened guru, he will not die, because he has opted out of his circumstances? his brain will not cease to function and all happiness with it? where are these people?

Quote:

>> and when these external factors change - as they inevitably do, due to their intransient natures- so too these momentary illusions of perpetual joy.
Exactly. This is precisely the reason the experience of suffering is so universal. Such suffering, however, has a cause. That cause is desirous attachment and it's contributing factors.



all desire is not suffering; i woke up this morning; i was hungry; i ate my captain crunch, and let me tell you i had a huge smile on my face.
Quote:

Because it has a cause, it can be ended. Mindfulness and awareness bring about an end to suffering.



why don't animals show these capacities? since happiness is supposedly innate, then why is it only in the "highest" animal (humans) would we find this phenomenon? after all, it would take a more complex brain to be able to create what could only be said to be self-deceptions, as you describe them; yet animals apparently do not live in enlightenment according to any concept of enlightenment that i am familiar with.


--------------------
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Edited by crunchytoast (12/09/05 12:03 AM)


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5036540 - 12/09/05 12:02 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

Quote:

the need for food is physiological, not mental/emotional. If we do not eat some variety of food, we will eventually starve to death. The want/desire for a particular food is not a life or death issue.



but there must be a want/desire for some food- be it tuna, or eggs, or whatever is in front of a person.

Quote:

I said that I "let go" and "accept" the reality of my not getting exactly what I want.



how do you know the difference between a need and a want?

Quote:

What possible benefit would there be to my having a negative reaction to a frustrated, non-essential want?



for example if you punch your hand against a brick wall, and it hurts, and you're like, 'hot damn that hurts!' you're not going to punch your fist against the brick wall again, but if you say, 'i punched my fist against that wall, it hurt, and that's okay' then why not punch your fist against the brick wall again? i mean, relabelling pain as okay, does not make pain okay.

Quote:

Who said we were in control in the first place?



surely control is possible in some cases. i play go, and when i play a weaker player, i can totally control the flow of the game. in situations where i know much more than another person, i can totally control the flow of what happens. tomorrow i will cook instant oatmeal, i will cook it for 10 minutes, using a timer, and it will not burn, because i will be in control. control is possible, even if not always possible.

Quote:

I meant surrender as opposed to resistance. Resisting and denying the reality of our experience is a sure-fire method for creating misery.



you said:"This joy is not reliant on any external stimuli,"
yet plainly the "reality of our experience" is external stimuli. even if it were true that the reality of our experience is always joyful, this would support my view that joy cannot be innate.

Quote:

say I accept the reality that my hand hurts every time I bash it against a brick wall. Damn, that really smarts! Why can't brick walls be softer? Why does my hand have to be so sensitive! This is such a drag. Oh, well, I guess it is a fact that this experience will recur every time I repeat this action. Bummer.

Do I return the next day and bash my hand against that wall? If I refrain from hitting that wall, am I repressing the pain which results from my action, or eliminating the actual cause of my pain: my unskillful actions?



a) say ouch it hurts, and stop it because you've accepted the reality of the pain; or b) say "when i hurt my hand, i'm actually in a state of happiness so, if that's true, then why should i care when i hurt my hand?"

you said: "It seems to me that rejecting reality, denying the content of our experience, obscures our natural state of happiness."
yet plainly when the content of experience is pain from hitting one's hand, the content is not a natural state of happiness; furthermore calling it such therefore obscures experience, and thereby closes a person off from some of the information available to them, increasing the likelihood of bad decisions.

Quote:

It is only the responses which do not serve our wellbeing, and may undermine it, which are targeted for change.



please give me an example of a such a response.

Quote:

Joy seems to persist until disturbed by negativity, whereas sadness appears in response to an unwanted experience, and lessens as the unwanted experience ends or is lost to the past.



really, from what i see a neutral state persists until disturbed, and sadness and joy tend to gravitate back to neutrality after short periods of time.
i loved my cereal this morning and it generated a huge grin on my face, let me tell you, but i stopped grinning about 2 hours after that meal.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5036566 - 12/09/05 12:08 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

crunchytoast - why do you continue to ask "where are such people" when i gave you a perfect example of someone who embodied these principles, someone who even passed the test of a skeptic (krishnamurti)?


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5036604 - 12/09/05 12:16 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

really, from what i see a neutral state persists until disturbed, and sadness and joy tend to gravitate back to neutrality after short periods of time.
i loved my cereal this morning and it generated a huge grin on my face, let me tell you, but i stopped grinning about 2 hours after that meal.


thats because you perceive yourself in the body while the sage percieves the body in himself. being is his source of happiness and not pleasurable sensations in the body. as long as you hold onto the "i am the body" idea you will experience things in the way you described. when you give up this idea sensations can come and go in the body without disturbing the consciousness they appear in. this is what enabled maharshi to be operated on without anesthetic.


Edited by Deviate (12/09/05 12:18 AM)


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5036705 - 12/09/05 12:41 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

to sum up krishnmurti's thoughts on the matter:

'Truth is a pathless land'. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge....Man has built in himself images as a fence of security - religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man's thinking, his relationships and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind. The content of his consciousness is his entire existence. This content is common to all humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is not an individual.

Freedom is not a reaction; freedom is not a choice. It is man's pretence that because he has choice he is free. Freedom is pure observation without direction, without fear of punishment and reward. Freedom is without motive; freedom is not at the end of the evolution of man but lies in the first step of his existence. In observation one begins to discover the lack of freedom. Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity. Thought is time. Thought is born of experience and knowledge which are inseparable from time and the past. Time is the psychological enemy of man. Our action is based on knowledge and therefore time, so man is always a slave to the past. Thought is ever-limited and so we live in constant conflict and struggle. There is no psychological evolution.

When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation which is insight without any shadow of the past or of time. This timeless insight brings about a deep radical mutation in the mind.

Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.



so crunchytoast, you are looking at things from state of the unmutated mind and i agree your observations seem fairly accurate for that state of consciousness. however, what if its possible for the mind to undergo a deep and radical mutation as krishnamurti describes it? what if this new consciousness changes the context in which everything must be explained?

can i prove this mutation is possible? no. can you prove it is impossible? no. so the only way to know for sure is to play around with your own mind and see what you can find. see if this mutation can be induced somehow. if you manage to induce the mutation you'll know for sure then.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5036878 - 12/09/05 01:24 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast - why do you continue to ask "where are such people" when i gave you a perfect example of someone who embodied these principles, someone who even passed the test of a skeptic (krishnamurti)?



i'm not sure what you have in mind- maybe it's the post where you note:
"when asked if it hurt he said "the body felt pain, am i the body?". "
this implies that the body does indeed feel pain, even if the body is the speaker's. i think that belies faulty philosophy on the speaker's part in that they don't identify themselves with their body.

i don't believe that consciousness and the body are dissociated in any way. i think they form a continuous chain, through nerves, spinal cord, and brain, and that together all these things, which are parts of the body, form consciousness. these are my conclusions from the observations of science.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5036983 - 12/09/05 01:46 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

Quote:

Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.




i disagree with this part the most. compassion and intelligence and love aren't at a person's heart. a person has no central core to their heart. their heart is determined by their experience. this is the truth behind the statement "When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation"

by eliminating the clutter between a person and their experience, you create a flow. that flow is continuous, and is the person. "i feel angry" becomes "i am angry"- and the person is angry, period. they become their self- which is no self, but the observation/experience itself.

saying that love/compassion or whatever is at the core- if you ask me- is but another way of separating the observer from the observation. what if i don't feel loving a particular moment or don't feel compassionate? what if i don't feel that way most of the time? why should i have to be that way? why should i tell myself i am that way, when there's no evidence for this proposition? why should i tell myself i am loving if i feel hateful? perhaps the expanse of our ontological freedom as human beings is frightening somehow.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5037029 - 12/09/05 01:55 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

exactly, and this is why i think the discussion is futile to continue further. this was what the post i accidentally deleted was about last night. i believe that all your observations and arguments are valid based on that assumption. ive done much thinking on the matter and the conclusion ive come to is that the only way spiritual philosphies can work is that if death is for the body and for the sense of individuality, and that it cannot touch the underlying reality in which they both appear. without the understanding of this concept i don't believe they can work and this is precisely why i rejected all spiritualy until i had an experience wich endowed me with this understanding. so i could go onto to state that none of the findings of science are imcompatable with this notion and yadda yadda yadda but whats the point? if my former self couldn't be convinced, why should i assume i can convince others?

anyway, just to clarify, what maharshi said wasn't philosophical musing, if it was just a philosophical concept how could he endure the pain of the operation and why would he choose to? rather i think the more logical conclusion is that he was in a different state of awareness which allowed him to bare the pain. in your view this would be a considered a delusional or pathological state of awareness but none the less it is a state of awareness that does occur. in fact when he first realized enlightenment he had no culterual background for it and he assumed it was a disease. he said "it was such a wonderful disease i hoped i would never recover". so our interpretations of this phenomena differ because our worldviews differ. for you enlightenment is a pathological state of awareness or type of insanity and for me our normal state of awareness is pathological. there's no way to prove who is right so i propose we agree to disagree. i see no point in discussing the finer points of these philosophies when we dissagree on this fundmamental distinction.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5037048 - 12/09/05 02:00 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
Quote:

Total negation is the essence of the positive. When there is negation of all those things that thought has brought about psychologically, only then is there love, which is compassion and intelligence.




i disagree with this part the most. compassion and intelligence and love aren't at a person's heart. a person has no central core to their heart. their heart is determined by their experience. this is the truth behind the statement "When man becomes aware of the movement of his own thoughts he will see the division between the thinker and thought, the observer and the observed, the experiencer and the experience. He will discover that this division is an illusion. Then only is there pure observation"

by eliminating the clutter between a person and their experience, you create a flow. that flow is continuous, and is the person. "i feel angry" becomes "i am angry"- and the person is angry, period. they become their self- which is no self, but the observation/experience itself.

saying that love/compassion or whatever is at the core- if you ask me- is but another way of separating the observer from the observation. what if i don't feel loving a particular moment or don't feel compassionate? what if i don't feel that way most of the time? why should i have to be that way? why should i tell myself i am that way, when there's no evidence for this proposition? why should i tell myself i am loving if i feel hateful? perhaps the expanse of our ontological freedom as human beings is frightening somehow.





i find this interesting as what you're saying has a remarkably uncanny resemblance to how krishnamurti felt before his "calamity" as he called it.

Excerpted from Part One of Krishnamurti's book The Mystique of Enlightenment.


I arrived at a point when I was twenty-one where I felt very strongly that all teachers -- Buddha, Jesus, Sri Ramakrishna, everybody -- kidded themselves, deluded themselves and deluded everybody. This, you see, could not be the thing at all -- "Where is the state that these people talk about and describe? That description seems to have no relation to me, to the way I am functioning. Everybody says 'Don't get angry' -- I am angry all the time. I'm full of brutal activities inside, so that is false. What these people are telling me I should be is something false, and because it is false it will falsify me. I don't want to live the life of a false person. I am greedy, and non-greed is what they are talking about. There is something wrong somewhere. This greed is something real, something natural to me; what they are talking about is unnatural. So, something is wrong somewhere. But I am not ready to change myself, to falsify myself, for the sake of being in a state of non-greed; my greed is a reality to me." I lived in the midst of people who talked of these things everlastingly -- everybody was false, I can tell you. So, somehow, what you call 'existentialist nausea' (I didn't use those words at the time, but now I happen to know these terms, revulsion against everything sacred and everything holy, crept into my system and threw everything out: "No more slokas, no more religion, no more practices -- there isn't anything there; but what is here is something natural. I am a brute, I am a monster, I am full of violence -- this is reality. I am full of desire. Desirelessness, non-greed, non-anger -- those things have no meaning to me; they are false, and they are not only false, they are falsifying me." So I said to myself "I'm finished with the whole business," but it is not that simple, you see.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5037192 - 12/09/05 02:23 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

i agree that sounds similar, because he stated something similar proves nothing itself. to be accurate it's not the same, since saying 'i'm a brute' makes as much sense to me as saying 'i am loving' i mean- aren't both of these things true- depending on the particular experience?

secondly, it's very apparent that this dude never achieved desirelessness, since he apparently had the desire to continue talking after he supposedly found this state.

lastly, the structure of your argument reminds me of christians who say 'you would know that jesus is your savior if you had faith. oh you don't believe? well it's because you don't have faith.' many major religions use this argument. until now, i was not aware that buddhism used this argument too.

the fact that so many conflicting viewpoints make the same argument that yields such conflicting conclusions diminishes its credibility.

after all, i could say 'well deviate you'll never know which is true, but have faith, and the truth of my perspective will become apparent to you.'

Quote:

what maharshi said wasn't philosophical musing, if it was just a philosophical concept how could he endure the pain of the operation and why would he choose to? rather i think the more logical conclusion is that he was in a different state of awareness



i don't think it was just a philosophical concept. i think the implication of his statement is incorrect- that he is not his body. it's like if someone says 'my dog is my foot.' it's just plain wrong. now, this false belief is different than the mechanism by which he bore his pain. consider a person being tortured. no matter how great the pain is, a person will bear if they have no choice. being able to bear pain is no great feat. it may be a great feat to be able to bear pain and still choose no to act on it. yet that possibility does not conflict with the facts of the mattter: every conscious being desires, desire is only escapable with death, emotions give us information about our needs/desires, saying 'i do not feel X' does not make the feeling X go away, etc.

i have always believed that it's possible to choose to act on a feeling, and that emotion and action are linked to each other in no necessary ways.

Quote:

which allowed him to bare the pain. in your view this would be a considered a delusional or pathological state of awareness



i do not think it's pathological at all. i could care less about that. i'm arguing that it's delusional. whether there's self-deception is an issue of fact, not an issue of value; whereas whether it's pathological is an issue of value, and that's a value statement i don't mean to make, if i've made it.

Quote:

for you enlightenment is a pathological state of awareness or type of insanity and for me our normal state of awareness is pathological. there's no way to prove who is right so i propose we agree to disagree.



what i disagree with you about is whether it's self-deception. i don't really care whether it's pathological, since that's a value statement, and i view all value statements as not only relative to the speaker but also typically unpersuasive.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5037306 - 12/09/05 02:43 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)


i agree that sounds similar, because he stated something similar proves nothing itself. to be accurate it's not the same, since saying 'i'm a brute' makes as much sense to me as saying 'i am loving' i mean- aren't both of these things potentially true?

secondly, it's very apparent that this dude never achieved desirelessness, since he apparently had the desire to continue talking after he supposedly found this state.

lastly, the structure of your argument reminds me of christians who say 'you would know that jesus is your savior if you had faith. oh you don't believe? well it's because you don't have faith.' many major religions use this argument. until now, i was not aware that buddhism used this argument too.

the fact that so many conflicting viewpoints make the same argument that yields such conflicting conclusions diminishes its credibility.

after all, i could say 'well deviate you'll never know which is true, but have faith, and the truth of my perspective will become apparent to you.'



first of all i am not a buddhist nor was i aware that buddhism used this argument. what i am saying is that the only way to know if a certain state exists is to exeperience it for yourself. i am not saying this proves anything or is evidence for enlightenment or buddhism or any particular philosophy. i am simply saying that i don't see any other way of knowing this type of thing. many claims are made but none are proven. think about what you are saying. let's say you got a new car and someone told you the car had heated seats and there was a switch to activate them. you said "i don't believe there is any such switch" then the other person said "well you've got to look for it, check the under seat" you said "oh, so now i have to faith there is a switch in order to find the switch, that's the same arguments christians use with jesus. i don't think its valid" if you refuse to start looking until you have undeniable proof of its existance you will never find it because the only undeniable proof of its existance is finding it. i think it would be silly to sit in your car arguing about christians and jesus rather than just reaching down and checking to see if the switch is there. you could speculate and debate for hours over whether that switch existed, but you would never know for certain until you checked. but anyway i consider this to now be a pointless discussion, so this will be my last response in regards to these points.

as for the rest of what you said, i made a mistake in using the word pathological and should have just stuck with delusional. you think the feeling that one is not the body is delusional and i dissagree. i say we agree to dissagree because i don't think either of us can prove our perspective and as far as i am concerned this the fundmantenal issue in this debate that breads the differering viewpoints. following from your assumptions i agree with most if not all of what you've said, i just dont hold the same assumptions and i don't care to challenege your assumptions or attempt to explain the reasons for mine.


Edited by Deviate (12/09/05 10:54 AM)


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5037846 - 12/09/05 06:47 AM (16 years, 1 day ago)

>> yet helping others is dependant on external conditions; what if i am unable to help if i think i am?

This is convoluting the issue. A desire is problematic inasmuch as an individual invests their own wellbeing in the satisfaction of that desire. Helping others is compassionate, it does not hold out an expectation for returns. Because of this the impetus to help others out of compassion is not desirous in nature.


>> also i have a question, is wanting a flashy car to boost self-esteem an inward or outward focus of attention? (since my self-esteem is internal, i wonder what your answer is). surely the desire for a new car is problematic according to your philosophy, because, even though self-esteem is internal, the object of desire is conditioned in nature.

If we rely on a fancy car for our self-esteem, or any other kind of sense of wellbeing, we are suffering from desirous attachment.


>> yet this must also be true of desire for happiness, since desire for happiness is so conditioned.

>> yet practioners of this philosophy seem to hold desirous attachment to happiness. indeed, desire is inescapable, and any philosophy whose aim is escape from desire (while living) is doomed to failure.

Our tendecy to pursue happiness and avoid suffering is in our nature; it is part of our being. To be happy is not a desire, in that what is really sought here is a realization of one's own true nature. It's the mistake that the satisfaction of our desires can make us truly happy and content which is problematic.


>> what is hunger but a sign of the craving? why have we evolved with the capacity for hunger? it's not some accidental thing. evolution gives us feelings to notify us of the satisfaction and dissatisfaction of our needs.

Our biological organism has evolved with the capacity for hunger because it requires the intake of food for it's own continuation.

When we feel uncomfortable because our stomach is hungry, there are two unique phenomena occuring. One phenomena is the physical sensation of hunger. The second phenomena is the feeling of unrest we impute upon that sensation. We impute our mental discomfort, an internal condition, upon our physical discomfort, an external condition. In reality they are seperate. It's in making this mistake that we develop the desire to alleviate our hunger for the sake of our contentment. Real contentment is found in remaining unattached to external conditions.


>> this is not true of happiness in relation to loneliness. as hunger is always painful, loneliness is always painful, even if a person is pleased about other things besides the loneliness/hunger/etc

Neither hunger nor our contact with others has the actual power to affect our happiness. If it were true that hunger and our contact with others possessed an intrinsic capacity to disturb our mind, then the effects of hunger or infrequent contact with others would be the same for all living beings. We can see that different people are affected differently by these circumstances, and therefore conclude that the extent to which hunger or infrequent contact with others affect's a person's happiness has entirely to dow ith their internal and evironment and absolutely nothing to do with their external environment.

Loneliness interrupts our happiness only when we invest our sense of wellbeing in our contact with others. Hunger disturbs us only when we invest our sense of wellbeing in the satisfaction of our hunger. Such a mistaken and unrealistic relationship with reality is what robs us of our contentment and sustains all experiences of pain.


>> these views are relevant because it determines whether so-called enlightenment is itself a conditioned state of being. for if it is a conditioned state of being, then it cannot escape condtionality, which is precisely what the concept, as you define it, is predicated on. secondly, what evidence do you have that these emotions (which from our knowledge of neuroscience seem to be located in certain areas of the brain) are located anywhere but these areas of the brain (that themselves decay upon death)?

I am neither qualified nor willing to argue metaphysical subjects with you. Your disscusion style indicates that you will take the intangibility of the proof of reincarnation and use it to discredit the whole of Buddhism and the Dharma. The topic of this thread is the link between suffering and desire. We do not need to discuss reincarnation to understand the link betwewn suffering and desire.


>> regarding this mystical happiness -which i see absolutely no evidence for and i suspect to be a modern-day unicorn, zeus, or jesus- what exactly is such a person happy about?

I cannot simply reveal something ineffable to you. It is something a person discovers for themself. All I can say is that they are happy because they have stopped the causes of their unhappiness.


>> who are these people? where are they?

They are spiritucal practitioners. They are everywhere, I see them every day.


>> do they feel pain?

Yes, they do.


>> do they feel hunger if you take them from food?

Yes, but it does not disturb their contentment or their happiness.


>> do they feel loneliness if you take them from people?

Beacuse they do not associate their happiness with their contact with others, they do not suffer from loneliness. In this case their happiness is a freedom from loneliness.


>> do they feel the pain of compassion for their fellow human beings?

If I answer this truthfully, you will draw an erroneous connection between compassion and desire.


>> so if i shoot the enlightened guru, he will not die, because he has opted out of his circumstances? his brain will not cease to function and all happiness with it? where are these people?

His physical organism will die. His brain will stop working. His gross consciousnesses will cease. However, his subtle consciousness will continue. It is a mistake to think that all consciousness originates and ceases with the brain. I will not offer reasons for you to believe this because you have already closed your mind to it. All I will say is that this idea does not conflict with any of what is known about neuroscience, except the prevailing assumption that all consciousness is dependent on, originates within, and finally ceases with, the brain.


>> all desire is not suffering; i woke up this morning; i was hungry; i ate my captain crunch, and let me tell you i had a huge smile on my face.

You will become hungry again. When there is no Captain Crunch in the cupboard, you will lose your happiness to your hunger inasmuch as you depend on Captain Crunch for the smile on your face. In this way neither Captain Crunch nor the actual satisfaction of your hunger bring you real happiness. Real happiness is stable. It does not depend on these circumstances. Inauthentic happiness is just the temporary alleviation of certain sufferings.


>> why don't animals show these capacities? since happiness is supposedly innate, then why is it only in the "highest" animal (humans) would we find this phenomenon? after all, it would take a more complex brain to be able to create what could only be said to be self-deceptions, as you describe them; yet animals apparently do not live in enlightenment according to any concept of enlightenment that i am familiar with.

Animals are deceived by exactly the same ignorance as we. However, they lack the intelligence necessary to consider their circumstances, dispel their ignorance, and become happy. This is why they suffer exactly as we do. The sufferings of human beings as well as animals have the same cause. The variance in the outward manifestation of these sufferings has only to do with the variance between different species, their capcities, and their inclinations.


From your posts, I get the distinct impression that you are not interested in sharing ideas, deepening your knowledge, or even coming to understand a perspective which differs from your own. You are commanding that hard evidence be presented, but it is impossible for such evidence to be provided. The hard evidence is found in the reasoning and examples already offered. The actual truth is found in testing these principles through practise. It seems clear that you are not interested in either of these things.

Perhaps it is best we do as Deviate suggests and agree to disagree.


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Edited by Ped (12/09/05 06:51 AM)


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5041002 - 12/09/05 09:07 PM (16 years, 1 day ago)

External conditions might make us feel very pleasant and happy, but external conditions are in the nature of change. When external conditions change, this is suffering. Our pleasant feelings disappear. If we cut our dependence on external conditions for our happiness, and instead learn to depend on internal conditions, we will never experience this pain. Never having to endure this pain is true happiness.

It is a kind of oppression to be slave to external circumstances, such as the comfort of our body, our financial situation, or the proximity of friends and lovers. Freedom from this oppression does not mean that we neglect our body, neglect our finances, or avoid other people. It means that we no longer work so endlessly to arrange these outer circumstances in such a way that it allows us to remain comfortable and distracted. In detaching ourself from our desires, we cancel their momentum, and our suffering falls away like leaves from a tree. This is true freedom. It is a profound sense of contentment that never leaves us throughout our whole life, and if you believe in past and future lives, it follows us into our future lives as well.

Craving, or desire, is the source of our fear, anxiety, our despair, our depression, our hopelessness. It is the source of all suffering. It's in stopping the deeply ingrained mental habit which seeks happiness outside ourself that we stop fear, anxiety, despair, depression and hopelessness. It's in stopping this mental habit that we overcome loneliness and replace it with a profound feeling of closeness and empathy with others. This feeling of closeness, empathy, and inner contentment, is what actually has the power to protect us from all suffering.

Closeness and empathy with others, a sense of inner contentment, these are inner circumstances. They fill us with an ephemeral joy that never leaves us, no matter what we might have to experience. It transcends the fleeting elation which comes from the satisfaction of our endless craving, and leads us to a divine and blissful place which is as still as the clear night sky. Please believe me when I tell you, in this world there is nothing to attain which is holier and more precious than this.


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OfflineBlueCoyote
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5044343 - 12/10/05 03:28 PM (16 years, 6 hours ago)

I am in the same dilemma as crunchy.
I can see, that it is possible to stay happy, if my hand is burned, while not reacting and accepting this as the way it is and such.
But it doesn't make sense. It's better to pull his hand away to achieve happiness in regard to this subject.

I think buddha would say in this case to keep calm, stay happy and mindfully remove your hand from the fire.

So we arrive at a dilemma if need and want both go to desire.
We should filter prior to buddhistic 'phlegma', else our hands were burnt, the tibetan families were wiped out by the chinese or we starved to death...

So my conclusion is, if it is time to take action, do it in a mindful, happy and relaxed way...


--------------------
Though lovers be lost love shall not  And death shall have no dominion
......................................................
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: BlueCoyote]
    #5044404 - 12/10/05 03:40 PM (16 years, 6 hours ago)

Quote:

BlueCoyote said:
I am in the same dilemma as crunchy.
I can see, that it is possible to stay happy, if my hand is burned, while not reacting and accepting this as the way it is and such.
But it doesn't make sense. It's better to pull his hand away to achieve happiness in regard to this subject.

I think buddha would say in this case to keep calm, stay happy and mindfully remove your hand from the fire.

So we arrive at a dilemma if need and want both go to desire.
We should filter prior to buddhistic 'phlegma', else our hands were burnt, the tibetan families were wiped out by the chinese or we starved to death...

So my conclusion is, if it is time to take action, do it in a mindful, happy and relaxed way...



I totally agree.


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

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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Deviate]
    #5045918 - 12/10/05 10:33 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

you could speculate and debate for hours over whether that switch existed, but you would never know for certain until you checked.



what if you checked and found no switch?  i use to be a big adherent of a this sort of a philosophy, yet i could not get over this problem:
i could attain "inner" happiness (which i would now call happiness i don't know the cause of) yet this happiness would inevitably pass.  whether it was a bad dream, or some trivial disappointment of day-to-day living, numerous things would always "uncenter" me.

according to this philosophy, i should not be able to be uncentered, because being centered meant being unconditionally happy.  now if there's some event, any event, that could make me unhappy, or disappointed, or frustrated, even in the slightest degree, even for the most minor thing, then that must mean that my happiness was conditioned.

why would there be such talk on this thread about re-centering, if unconditional happiness could be attained?

Quote:

i just dont hold the same assumptions and i don't care to challenege your assumptions or attempt to explain the reasons for mine.



that's fair enough.
i believe that you feel how you say you feel.  i'm willing to take this on your word; i'm willing to explore other avenues of debate, such as, is there more than one possible explanation for what you feel?  however, i understand if you'd rather not continue the debate.  for me, civil debate is not something i tend to take personally; it's fun with neither party does so.  i enjoy being challenged, and you raised some very good points in this thread, and you often do, whenever i debate with you.  :thumbup:


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5046152 - 12/10/05 11:49 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

>> yet helping others is dependant on external conditions; what if i am unable to help if i think i am?

This is convoluting the issue. A desire is problematic inasmuch as an individual invests their own wellbeing in the satisfaction of that desire. Helping others is compassionate, it does not hold out an expectation for returns. Because of this the impetus to help others out of compassion is not desirous in nature.

why don't i take a flamethrower to random passersby?  after all i have no expectation for returns.  :rolleyes:  surely, behind the actions of saying kind words, or giving to charity, or whathaveyou, there are compassionate intentions, and thus compassionate expectations, otherwise setting random people on fire would be an act of enlightenment.

Our tendecy to pursue happiness and avoid suffering is in our nature; it is part of our being. To be happy is not a desire, in that what is really sought here is a realization of one's own true nature.
i'm talking about the pursuit of enlightenment.
plainly not everyone pursues this state; most humans don't even believe in it.
plainly the pursuit of enlightenment is not merely the pursuit of particular happinesses at the end of individual desires, but the pursuit of a happiness that transcends desire -- which problematically must be a desire itself.

We impute our mental discomfort, an internal condition, upon our physical discomfort, an external condition. In reality they are seperate. It's in making this mistake that we develop the desire to alleviate our hunger for the sake of our contentment.
so a mental discomfort produces a desire for its alleviation.  then why would a physical discomfort not produce an analogous desire?  surely, in terms of the mind, a sensation of discomfort is a sensation of discomfort.

would not alleviation of the discomfort not produce relative pleasure, like eating a big meal after a long fast?

Neither hunger nor our contact with others has the actual power to affect our happiness. If it were true that hunger and our contact with others possessed an intrinsic capacity to disturb our mind, then the effects of hunger or infrequent contact with others would be the same for all living beings. We can see that different people are affected differently by these circumstances, and therefore conclude that the extent to which hunger or infrequent contact with others affect's a person's happiness has entirely to dow ith their internal and evironment and absolutely nothing to do with their external environment.
i agree that internal variables play a role, but i think it does not follow that external variables play no role.  people cathexize differently; for example, one person may derive satisfaction for a need for companionship by spending time with family; another may spend the time with girlfriend after girlfriend; another by getting stoned and talking philosophy.  yet in each case a need for companionship exists, and loneliness will arise whenever the source of that need's satisfaction absents.

Hunger disturbs us only when we invest our sense of wellbeing in the satisfaction of our hunger. Such a mistaken and unrealistic relationship with reality is what robs us of our contentment and sustains all experiences of pain.
do you really mean to imply that hunger is itself not painful?  surely pain is intrinsic to the experience of hunger.  i have never heard of anyone saying, 'gee lucky me i'm hungry, i'm not going to eat ever again because it feels so great to be hungry!'  nor have i ever heard anyone say this about loneliness.

Your disscusion style indicates that you will take the intangibility of the proof of reincarnation and use it to discredit the whole of Buddhism and the Dharma.
our discussion reminds me of the discussion i might have with a christian creationist.  i disagree with the facts of the matter- whether god created the earth according to the book of genesis- or whether world history happened as science thinks.  yet i know many christians who interpret the book of genesis symbolically.  i do not think that disagreeing with a particular fact (the nature of desire) excludes the possibility that buddhism is possibly true.  in fact, i can think of numerous tenets of buddhism (as they've been presentd to me on this board) that i agree with, for example the idea that there is not unconditioned self.  in fact this belief seems to accord with my beliefs about desire very well.

The topic of this thread is the link between suffering and desire. We do not need to discuss reincarnation to understand the link betwewn suffering and desire.
i'm merely trying to show that "innate happiness" too must be conditioned.  perhaps i will try another tack, since you prefer not to discuss this one: why is it that only some people reach "enlightenment" (as you define it)?  surely there must be some condition that determines that some people reach it and not others.

>> do they feel hunger if you take them from food?
Yes, but it does not disturb their contentment or their happiness.

so they experience one kind of pleasure while experiencing another kind of displeasure?  it sounds to me that these folks have something to be happy for in their lives- taking away their food does not take away this thing- yet it certainly is painful in its own right.

>> do they feel loneliness if you take them from people?
Beacuse they do not associate their happiness with their contact with others, they do not suffer from loneliness.

this inference could only be valid if two kinds of happiness/unhappiness were mutually exclusive; yet it is perfectly possible to feel happiness in one regard and unhappiness in another.  consider the person who enjoys the company of friends while suffering from hunger.

Quote:

>> do they feel the pain of compassion for their fellow human beings?
If I answer this truthfully, you will draw an erroneous connection between compassion and desire.



you understand the point i'm making; how is it erroneous?

Quote:

His physical organism will die. His brain will stop working. His gross consciousnesses will cease. However, his subtle consciousness will continue. It is a mistake to think that all consciousness originates and ceases with the brain. I will not offer reasons for you to believe this because you have already closed your mind to it.



that statement that i've closed my mind is absolutely unfair.  first, i have an open mind about this- in the past i used to follow a similar philosophy as you espouse; in the past i used to believe that consciousness transcended death; it is only because i have an open mind that i was drawn to my current conclusions.

i am curious what you believe and why you believe it.  i think there may be truth to your view, and i am curious to learn something.  nevertheless, i suspect that the way your belief is true will have no bearing on the argument because i suspect you may have made an error of reasoning.  yet, like a scientist, i will follow where the facts go, even if they contradict my assumptions.

Quote:

You will become hungry again.



first i'd like to point out that even though i will be hungry again, my one desire for captain crunch, that particular day, was indeed satisfied, and indeed brought me joy.  and furthermore, since it culminated in joy, desire must not be always be the source of suffering.  instead the source of suffering must be unsatisfied desire.

you can argue that i still suffer in other ways (for example i stubbed my toe today).  but in regards to the captain crunch, and the desire for captain crunch, i experienced no suffering but only joy.

and my joy was boundless.

Quote:

When there is no Captain Crunch in the cupboard, you will lose your happiness to your hunger inasmuch as you depend on Captain Crunch for the smile on your face. In this way neither Captain Crunch nor the actual satisfaction of your hunger bring you real happiness. Real happiness is stable. It does not depend on these circumstances. Inauthentic happiness is just the temporary alleviation of certain sufferings.



okay, it sounds like you're distinguishing between two kinds of happiness: "real" happiness and regular happiness.  yet does regular happiness not feel the same as the "real" happiness you believe in, even momentarily?

Quote:

>> why don't animals show these capacities? since happiness is supposedly innate, then why is it only in the "highest" animal (humans) would we find this phenomenon? after all, it would take a more complex brain to be able to create what could only be said to be self-deceptions, as you describe them; yet animals apparently do not live in enlightenment according to any concept of enlightenment that i am familiar with.

Animals are deceived by exactly the same ignorance as we. However, they lack the intelligence necessary to consider their circumstances, dispel their ignorance, and become happy. This is why they suffer exactly as we do. The sufferings of human beings as well as animals have the same cause. The variance in the outward manifestation of these sufferings has only to do with the variance between different species, their capcities, and their inclinations.



yet your response dodges the point.  the point is, if happiness were innate, and our natural state, then surely only a more developed mind could deviate it from it.

secondly, we can look at simpler and simpler organisms and find this is not true.  are you really trying to argue that an organism that functions with a single neuron that determines the direction the organism moves (from dark to light) is suffering from an inaccurate attribution of a the source of desire?  it doesn't even have the capacity to make attributions in the first place.

thirdly, if this state were innate, and unconditional, then how could any creature ever move away from this state?  if such happiness exists beyond conditions, then no condition could remove this happiness or "decenter" the organism.

Quote:

From your posts, I get the distinct impression that you are not interested in sharing ideas, deepening your knowledge, or even coming to understand a perspective which differs from your own. You are commanding that hard evidence be presented, but it is impossible for such evidence to be provided. The hard evidence is found in the reasoning and examples already offered.



this only problem i have with your posts is the reasoning in them.  that's the only thing.  i am understand your perspective,  does that mean i have to agree with it?  or do you allow for the possibility (slim as it may be) that you could be wrong?  let me tell you that it is very possible that i am wrong, but i will only be convinced if you can provide me with some solid reasoning.

finally, if (as you seem to imply) you do not believe that there can be any evidence provided for your position, then i'd really like to understand why you believe in it.  if there's some other cause for your beliefs besides evidence, then good for you; no harm done; i don't think you're any less of a person for it.  however this is a forum where debate is allowed.  if your belief about desire doesn't stand up under scrutiny then perhaps this forum is not the best place it.

Quote:

The actual truth is found in testing these principles through practise. It seems clear that you are not interested in either of these things.



on the contrary, i used to practice this but found it lacking.  i have outlined the reasons in these posts.  it just does not ring true for me, and i have outlined the reasons why.

Quote:

Perhaps it is best we do as Deviate suggests and agree to disagree.



that's fine, if you prefer it that way.  personally, i'm curious about exploring the ins and outs of this debate.  if it's possible to be unconditionally happy, i'd like to know about it.  that would be very interesting, for one thing, and for another, i'd like the option.  but if you prefer to stay silent, then god bless you, and thanks for exposing me to your debating style, which i found very challenging.

Quote:

External conditions might make us feel very pleasant and happy, but external conditions are in the nature of change. When external conditions change, this is suffering. Our pleasant feelings disappear. If we cut our dependence on external conditions for our happiness, and instead learn to depend on internal conditions, we will never experience this pain. Never having to endure this pain is true happiness.



respectfully, i disagree with this, since it seems to contradict your earlier text.  you seem to be saying that depending on internal conditions alone is sufficient for relief from pain.  yet at the same time you seem to be saying that the enlightened spiritual practitioners you know still experience the pain of hunger if you take them from food (for example).

secondly, regarding the dependance on internal conditions; are these internal conditions not predicated on things themselves?  for example, if i fulfill my desire to nurture, by nurturing myself, is this not predicated on my capacity to nurture myself?  is this not conditional?

also, what of hunger?  surely one cannot satisfy every desire this way; eventually a person will run out of self to munch upon.

and what of loneliness?  does the lonely buddhist, in your opinion, begin talking to themself as a form of solace?

Quote:

Freedom from this oppression does not mean that we neglect our body, neglect our finances, or avoid other people. It means that we no longer work so endlessly to arrange these outer circumstances in such a way that it allows us to remain comfortable and distracted.



does this not imply neglect?  take the example of food.  what's wrong with desiring food?  what's the proper way to approach food, in your opinion?

Quote:

Craving, or desire, is the source of our fear, anxiety, our despair, our depression, our hopelessness. It is the source of all suffering.



and the source of all our joy in my view.  must you not concede that it is at least the source of much joy?

Quote:

It's in stopping the deeply ingrained mental habit which seeks happiness outside ourself that we stop fear, anxiety, despair, depression and hopelessness. It's in stopping this mental habit that we overcome loneliness and replace it with a profound feeling of closeness and empathy with others.



really, i think the mental habit, and empathy, are different things, and one does not lead to the other, unless some other circumstance (that generates empathy) is present.

Quote:

This feeling of closeness, empathy, and inner contentment, is what actually has the power to protect us from all suffering.



to me this sounds like, using the present circumstances to satisfy one's needs.  if one is lonely, perhaps a person can satisfy the loneliness to some degree through empathy.  yet this seems no different to me than eating tuna to satisfy my hunger, even if i'd rather be eating eggs, when i have no eggs.

Quote:

Closeness and empathy with others, a sense of inner contentment, these are inner circumstances. They fill us with an ephemeral joy that never leaves us, no matter what we might have to experience. It transcends the fleeting elation which comes from the satisfaction of our endless craving, and leads us to a divine and blissful place which is as still as the clear night sky. Please believe me when I tell you, in this world there is nothing to attain which is holier and more precious than this.



feeling connected with others is important.  still, i believe there is more than one way to do this, and i beleive that other things are important too.

for example, self-esteem is important.  i believe that that new car (if that's what it is) can be important- and a feeling of connection with others.  why can't we have both?  why not maximize joy?  yet surely one cannot do this without listening to the heart.


--------------------
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OfflinePed
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5046198 - 12/11/05 12:11 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

>> I can see, that it is possible to stay happy, if my hand is burned, while not reacting and accepting this as the way it is and such.

It's not about how we react and choose to process a given experience. Managing how we process experiences, or taking an active role in deciding how we will react, this kind of behavior is focused outward.

We cannot ignore our internal circumstance for the sake of adopting another or "better" philosophy, because it is impossible to take something from the outside and actually internalize it. Instead, by remaining alert to our consciuosness, and constantly comparing the tendencies of our mind to certain truths, we take an approach which resembles sailing: we take the momentum of our present mind and use it to carry us to our destination: real happiness.


>> But it doesn't make sense. It's better to pull his hand away to achieve happiness in regard to this subject.

Of course it is important to pull our hand away when it is being burned. That is the first thing we should do. But if this experience causes us to become upset and unhappy, and we neglect to examine our situation to discover that our happiness should not have any dependence on circumstances like these, outer problems will always have the power to destroy our happiness.


>> I think buddha would say in this case to keep calm, stay happy and mindfully remove your hand from the fire.

Buddha said something exactly in step with this statement. He said "In all things, rely upon a happy mind alone." I think we have to be careful how we implement this, however. If after being burned our tendency is to react and become upset, it's not appropriate to squash those feelings because a "better" philosophy tells us that we'd be better off without them. Much more helpful it is to allow those feelings to surface, so long as they don't cause our behavior to harm ourself and others. Once they have surfaced, we then examine them alongside other ways of processing things. In this way we familiarize our mind with non-attachment and gradually move in that direction.





>> i could attain "inner" happiness (which i would now call happiness i don't know the cause of) yet this happiness would inevitably pass.

If it passed, then you did not attain it. If you have attained it, it does not pass. It is not something which is easy to obtain. It takes tremendous patience, alertness, concentration, and effort.


>> whether it was a bad dream, or some trivial disappointment of day-to-day living, numerous things would always "uncenter" me.

They have the power to uncenter you because you are still attached to those things.


>> according to this philosophy, i should not be able to be uncentered, because being centered meant being unconditionally happy. now if there's some event, any event, that could make me unhappy, or disappointed, or frustrated, even in the slightest degree, even for the most minor thing, then that must mean that my happiness was conditioned.

Attachment, or conditioned happiness as we're calling it, is not something which can be flipped on and off like a light switch. We can't read a few inspiring words about freedom from attachment, practise it for a few days, acheive a sense of peace, and then expect that we've attained liberation. There are gross attachments, such as preferences for certain foods, subtle attachments, such as those we have to fond memories, and very subtle attachments, such as attachment to the idea of our own inherent existence. It takes a long time to dispel these attachments, but if we maintain a constant vigilience, our sense of freedom and joy will only increase.


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


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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5046389 - 12/11/05 01:21 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

We cannot ignore our internal circumstance for the sake of adopting another or "better" philosophy, because it is impossible to take something from the outside and actually internalize it. Instead, by remaining alert to our consciuosness, and constantly comparing the tendencies of our mind to certain truths, we take an approach which resembles sailing: we take the momentum of our present mind and use it to carry us to our destination: real happiness.



since you seem to agree that repression exists, what makes you think that fruit of such a task are not the result of repression? surely a repressive person will think themselves happy but not really be. yet this would completely explain the same phenomena you predict. indeed, it is much likelier, since your explanation relies on the same number of principles, plus one: enlightenment.

Quote:

>> But it doesn't make sense. It's better to pull his hand away to achieve happiness in regard to this subject.

Of course it is important to pull our hand away when it is being burned. That is the first thing we should do. But if this experience causes us to become upset and unhappy, and we neglect to examine our situation to discover that our happiness should not have any dependence on circumstances like these, outer problems will always have the power to destroy our happiness.



you seem to distinguish between the unhappiness and the experience, but plainly the pain we've conceived of with this example, is in the experience, and not something that happens "after" or separate from the experience at all.

Quote:

>> I think buddha would say in this case to keep calm, stay happy and mindfully remove your hand from the fire.

Buddha said something exactly in step with this statement. He said "In all things, rely upon a happy mind alone."



he should have said rely on your feelings to tell you what's good and bad for you, and your intelligence to keep you from the bad and near the good! happy mind alone will soon find itself unhappy.

Quote:

I think we have to be careful how we implement this, however. If after being burned our tendency is to react and become upset,



burning is intrinsically painful

Quote:

it's not appropriate to squash those feelings because a "better" philosophy tells us that we'd be better off without them. Much more helpful it is to allow those feelings to surface, so long as they don't cause our behavior to harm ourself and others. Once they have surfaced, we then examine them alongside other ways of processing things. In this way we familiarize our mind with non-attachment and gradually move in that direction.



i believe fakirs are able to accomplish feats that repress pain, and walk on hot coals for example. yet such endeavors may not always be the wisest pursuits.


Quote:

>> i could attain "inner" happiness (which i would now call happiness i don't know the cause of) yet this happiness would inevitably pass.

If it passed, then you did not attain it. If you have attained it, it does not pass. It is not something which is easy to obtain. It takes tremendous patience, alertness, concentration, and effort.



this supposed happiness must be qualitatively different than regular happiness in that it does not pass. regular happiness plainly exists, i think we both agree that it does. surely you can concede that a person who is regularly happy can be regularly happy for an extended period of time, for example i am studying for the lsats and i was happy for days when after a short period of studying my score improved by a unusually large amount for the time i studied. now, considering that a person can be regularly happy, and regularly happy for an extended period of time, what makes you think that the spiritual people you're talking about are engaged in happiness of an intransient sort, rather than regular happiness of an extended sort?

surely the explanation more in line with occam's razor is that these people are happy for some reason they are not conscious of; and this happiness is merely of the regular, extended variety, and not the intransient variety whatsoever.


Quote:

>> whether it was a bad dream, or some trivial disappointment of day-to-day living, numerous things would always "uncenter" me.

They have the power to uncenter you because you are still attached to those things.



these included things i did not even know of before being centered- for example after being centered, i ate at this pizza joint. the pizza had a particularly pleasant taste on my tastebuds (pleasant in the same fashion that fire is painful). i went there the next day, still centered. suprisingly, no matter how centered i was beforehand, when it turned out they were out of that ingredient that day, i felt disappointment. the feeling of disappointment was as real as the pleasure i had felt the day before, and as real as the pain of fire. surely i have no control over such sensations.

Quote:

Attachment, or conditioned happiness as we're calling it, is not something which can be flipped on and off like a light switch. We can't read a few inspiring words about freedom from attachment, practise it for a few days, acheive a sense of peace, and then expect that we've attained liberation. There are gross attachments, such as preferences for certain foods, subtle attachments, such as those we have to fond memories, and very subtle attachments, such as attachment to the idea of our own inherent existence. It takes a long time to dispel these attachments, but if we maintain a constant vigilience, our sense of freedom and joy will only increase.




yet this contradicts what you said earlier, which was that these enlightened beings you know of, and feel pain just like the rest of us. how could they unless they remained attached?

of course, pain is always painful, and sadness is always sad.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5049922 - 12/11/05 10:51 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

>> since you seem to agree that repression exists, what makes you think that fruit of such a task are not the result of repression? surely a repressive person will think themselves happy but not really be. yet this would completely explain the same phenomena you predict. indeed, it is much likelier, since your explanation relies on the same number of principles, plus one: enlightenment.

This is becoming way more complicated that it needs to be. Simply because a person is able to practise non-attachment in a convoluted way that basically amounts to repression does not mean that practising non-attachment equates to repression. This is like saying that because one person got into an car accident, all people who drive cars will have accidents.

This is how it is possible to take teachings on non-attachment and use them repressively: We hear teachings informing us that our happiness depends on external circumstances only because we assume this to be true. Upon hearing these teachings we generate a new ego-construct for ourselves which must abide by certain dictums we have imposed upon ourself: that we must not become unhappy when external conditions change. When external conditions change, we effectively disallow ourself to experience what otherwise what we would naturally feel. This is denial. It's like putting a small band-aid on a pierced artery and thinking that we are healed. We are still bleeding to death moment by moment.

This is how it is possible to take teachings on non-attachment and acheive freedom from suffering and disatisfacton: We hear teachings informing us that bad feelings don't come from external circumstances, and that in reality they come from our unskilful methods for participating in those circumstances. We then turn our attention to our mind so that we might verify this as truth. We pay closer attention to changing circumstances and the way in which our mind handles them. We question to see if we are behaving realistically, and compare our conclusions with the teachings we have received. If we see the mistake of conscious apprehension that disturbed our mind, we make note of that and continue on with our day. If we keep up this practise, our mind will naturally move away from a place where it is prone to suffering and arrive at a place where our contentment is less and less vulnerable to the fluctuations of our outer environment. When this process has reached it's completion, suffering stops completely, and we have attained liberation.

It seems to me that our debate is going around in circles. I am putting forward examples and saying "look, this is how suffering can stop", and you are putting forward examples and saying "look, this is how suffering can't stop."


>> he should have said rely on your feelings to tell you what's good and bad for you, and your intelligence to keep you from the bad and near the good! happy mind alone will soon find itself unhappy.

Our feelings never inform us properly about what is good and bad for us. Our feelings tell us that smoking cigarettes or shooting heroin is good for us. Our feelings tell us that unprotected sex is good for us. Our feelings tell us that gambling is good for us. Our feelings tell us that overeating is good for us. Employing intelligence alone to keep our emotions in check is not adequate because it does not address the root of the problem: the desire which arises from our mistaken awareness. If our feelings tell us that overeating is good for us, but we use our intelligence to prevent ourself from overeating and reason that becoming overweight is unhealthy, is this not simply repressing our feelings? Far better it is to cut the root of desire and be physically healthy and content with the portions of food we eat at the same time.

When Buddha is saying that we should rely upon a happy mind alone, he is saying that we should not trust our distrubed states of consciousness to inform us about reality, because these disturbed states are unbalanced by their nature and are full of bias.


>> burning is intrinsically painful

Invariably, when a living physical organism contacts a hot surface, pain signals will be sent to the brain and a sharp sensation will be felt. Of course this is true. The extent to which this experience has the power to disturb our mind, however, is completely up to us. The extent to which being burned has the power to cause us mental unrest is directly proportionate to the extent we are enslaved by attachment to external circumstances.

Let me tell you a story about Gen Kelsang Tharchin, my teacher's teacher. Gen Tharchin is a highly realized monk who lives in Arizona. One day, he was meditating in the desert outside his temple when a snake happened upon him and bit him on the leg. Gen Tharchin tells the story that he felt the sting of the of the snake's fangs on his leg. He felt it slither over his lap and away from him. Seconds later, Gen Tharchin could feel the venom moving through his veins; he said it was a peculiar sensation. He could feel his heart rate slow down and his breathing become laboured. Knowing his life was in danger, he roused himself from meditation and made his way back inside the temple, where he told his disciples he had been bitten and described the appearance of the snake.

Gen Tharchin's disciples were frantic, terrified that their teacher, whom they loved, was about to die. They asked him why he was so calm, and he said there is no reason to lose his peace, because he was not afraid. He said (and this is a famous quote in our tradition) "My body was condemend to die the moment it was born. Why would I cling to something that is only borrowed?" They administered him the anti-venom they had on hand and called an ambulance.

Because of our attachment to our life and our bodies, most of us would have leapt up upon being bitten, ran inside and fumbled with the telephone in our panic. We might even go back outside and try to kill the snake, who was only behaving in the way he knows how. There is no telling the irrational things we might do when we feel our life is about to end suddenly. Why is it that a snake bite can affect one individual's sense of peace so strongly, whereby it had no effect whatsoever on somebody else? It is because external circumstances have no intrinsic power to consume our happiness. They can only consume our happiness if, by continuing to experience the world through the conduit of desire, we allow external circumstances to affect our consciousness.


>> this supposed happiness must be qualitatively different than regular happiness in that it does not pass. regular happiness plainly exists, i think we both agree that it does. surely you can concede that a person who is regularly happy can be regularly happy for an extended period of time

We do agree on these points.


>> now, considering that a person can be regularly happy, and regularly happy for an extended period of time, what makes you think that the spiritual people you're talking about are engaged in happiness of an intransient sort, rather than regular happiness of an extended sort?

All happiness, be it extremely brief or long lasting, is ultimately temporary happiness until we have cut the root of suffering, desire. The people I am talking about are not engaged in a happiness of an intransient sort: rather, they are cultivating a happiness of an intransient sort. As I said before, it is not so black and white. It is not that we are either absolutely pervaded by attachment and totally dependent on conditioned happiness, or utterly non-attached and totally content within ourself. Moving from one dispostion to the other is a gradual process that takes a long time.

The root of our argument, I think, is whether or not unconditioned happiness can be attained. I'm not sure if this is something that can be discovered by debating amongst each other. I can tell you from my personal experience that such happiness definitely can be attained. That's not to say that I've attained it. Far from it, in fact. But over the last three years that I've been practising Buddha's teachings, the power my desires have over me has become less and less. I used to have a terrible temper; it used to be that the slightest disturbance outside myself would cause me to become very angry and very unsettled. I was the sort of person who required that his living space be just so: everything needed to be in it's place and not a single speck of dust was tolerated. Looking back, it was an extremely neurotic way of relating to my surroundings. Now, however, after practising Buddha's teachings, these things no longer matter to me. I am still very organized, but if something happens which causes my living space to become disorgnized or messy, this no longer has the power to upset me. It is because I have softened my desires in that respect.

This is not to say that I have some special attainment. Just a few months ago I underwent seperation from the woman I thought I'd marry. This was incredibly tumultuous for me; I was very aggitated, confused and unhappy. However, I look back at the experience through the lense of Buddha's teachings, and I see that I was under the control of my desirous attachment. In reality, my seperation from her was just a change in the terms of our relationship, and a change in physical proximity. It only became more than this when my attachment to the comfort of different circumstances was frustrated. I do miss her and of course I still love her, but through informing me about the nature of suffering, that fact of our separation now increases my happiness instead of detracting from it.


>> this contradicts what you said earlier, which was that these enlightened beings you know of, and feel pain just like the rest of us. how could they unless they remained attached?

I do not know any enlightened beings personally. I know of beings who are engaged in a practise that leads to the cessation of suffering. They feel pain just like the rest of us. Some of that pain comes from their remaining attachments. Each day that they practise non-attachment makes them less vulnerable to suffering and brings them closer to liberation.

Buddha said "like drops in a bucket, soon the bucket is full." This is the gradual Buddhist path.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5055578 - 12/13/05 01:58 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

>> since you seem to agree that repression exists, what makes you think that fruit of such a task are not the result of repression? surely a repressive person will think themselves happy but not really be. yet this would completely explain the same phenomena you predict. indeed, it is much likelier, since your explanation relies on the same number of principles, plus one: enlightenment.

This is becoming way more complicated that it needs to be. Simply because a person is able to practise non-attachment in a convoluted way that basically amounts to repression does not mean that practising non-attachment equates to repression. This is like saying that because one person got into an car accident, all people who drive cars will have accidents.



well the example about driving cars is not pertinent, since it can be shown that many who drive cars don't have accidents.  yet it can't be shown in a single way tht non-attachment, as you define it, is ever not repression.

what remains is cut away by occam's razor, which is a tool used only when there is no more evidence available to decide an issue.

Quote:

This is how it is possible to take teachings on non-attachment and use them repressively: We hear teachings informing us that our happiness depends on external circumstances only because we assume this to be true. Upon hearing these teachings we generate a new ego-construct for ourselves which must abide by certain dictums we have imposed upon ourself: that we must not become unhappy when external conditions change. When external conditions change, we effectively disallow ourself to experience what otherwise what we would naturally feel. This is denial. It's like putting a small band-aid on a pierced artery and thinking that we are healed. We are still bleeding to death moment by moment.



agreed :thumbup:

Quote:

This is how it is possible to take teachings on non-attachment and acheive freedom from suffering and disatisfacton: We hear teachings informing us that bad feelings don't come from external circumstances, and that in reality they come from our unskilful methods for participating in those circumstances. We then turn our attention to our mind so that we might verify this as truth. We pay closer attention to changing circumstances and the way in which our mind handles them. We question to see if we are behaving realistically, and compare our conclusions with the teachings we have received. If we see the mistake of conscious apprehension that disturbed our mind, we make note of that and continue on with our day. If we keep up this practise, our mind will naturally move away from a place where it is prone to suffering and arrive at a place where our contentment is less and less vulnerable to the fluctuations of our outer environment. When this process has reached it's completion, suffering stops completely, and we have attained liberation.



by suffering i assume mean pain, such as the pain of hunger and loneliness (which is different than the way, for example, bluecoyote uses the word suffering, as something distinct from pain).

now, assuming that, i don't see why the first example (repression) couldn't perfectly explain the second example (enlightened non-attachment).

Quote:

It seems to me that our debate is going around in circles. I am putting forward examples and saying "look, this is how suffering can stop", and you are putting forward examples and saying "look, this is how suffering can't stop."



i don't think this means the debate is going in circles.  i think there is something that could resolve the issue here: whether or not repression can explain non-attachment.  if it can, then occam's razor sides with my position.

Quote:

>> he should have said rely on your feelings to tell you what's good and bad for you, and your intelligence to keep you from the bad and near the good! happy mind alone will soon find itself unhappy.

Our feelings never inform us properly about what is good and bad for us. Our feelings tell us that smoking cigarettes or shooting heroin is good for us. Our feelings tell us that unprotected sex is good for us. Our feelings tell us that gambling is good for us. Our feelings tell us that overeating is good for us.



certain feelings may tell us these things are good for us.  yet other feelings will inform us otherwise.  why is it that i feel guilty after overeating?  why is it that i feel scared before and after unprotected sex?  why is it that i worry about lung cancer after smoking a cigarette?  while some feelings, taken out of context, are pleasurable during "unhealthy" endeavors such as these- other feelings are repressed (such as the guilt, fear, and worry in these examples).

i hold that these feelings each signify a need; what is the psychological meaning of smoking for a person?  why does a person worry about their health when they smoke?  i believe "un-repressing" various emotions allows a person to integrate them into their personality, and find outlets for the underlying needs that result in fewer conflicts among the varying needs.

Quote:

Employing intelligence alone to keep our emotions in check is not adequate because it does not address the root of the problem: the desire which arises from our mistaken awareness. If our feelings tell us that overeating is good for us, but we use our intelligence to prevent ourself from overeating and reason that becoming overweight is unhealthy, is this not simply repressing our feelings?



the feeling of pleasure (which would vary depending on the individual) could be found in other ways; the pleasure implies a need; the need could find an object different than overeating.

Quote:

Far better it is to cut the root of desire and be physically healthy and content with the portions of food we eat at the same time.



first, this begs the question of whether this is possible, and i have shown how unlikely this is possible, with my occam's razor argument.

secondly, i believe the repression happens in these cases of what we must call "pathological" behaviors (for the sake of this argument), and resolving the repression in the personality, and integrated the repressed need with the unrepressed need, would solve the problems.

Quote:

When Buddha is saying that we should rely upon a happy mind alone, he is saying that we should not trust our distrubed states of consciousness to inform us about reality, because these disturbed states are unbalanced by their nature and are full of bias.



yet this contradicts the fact of these disturbed states: what is your explanation of why we have evolved with these disturbed states?  my explanation is that evolution provided us with them because they helped our anscestors survive; and how could they help any organism surivve unless these states provide information about reality (for example, the way hunger provides information about the reality of an unfed belly).

Quote:

>> burning is intrinsically painful
Invariably, when a living physical organism contacts a hot surface, pain signals will be sent to the brain and a sharp sensation will be felt. Of course this is true. The extent to which this experience has the power to disturb our mind, however, is completely up to us. The extent to which being burned has the power to cause us mental unrest is directly proportionate to the extent we are enslaved by attachment to external circumstances.



what do you mean by unrest?
for example, can loneliness be merely pain or must it always be unrest?

Quote:

Let me tell you a story about Gen Kelsang Tharchin, my teacher's teacher. Gen Tharchin is a highly realized monk who lives in Arizona. One day, he was meditating in the desert outside his temple when a snake happened upon him and bit him on the leg. Gen Tharchin tells the story that he felt the sting of the of the snake's fangs on his leg. He felt it slither over his lap and away from him. Seconds later, Gen Tharchin could feel the venom moving through his veins; he said it was a peculiar sensation. He could feel his heart rate slow down and his breathing become laboured. Knowing his life was in danger, he roused himself from meditation and made his way back inside the temple, where he told his disciples he had been bitten and described the appearance of the snake.

Gen Tharchin's disciples were frantic, terrified that their teacher, whom they loved, was about to die. They asked him why he was so calm, and he said there is no reason to lose his peace, because he was not afraid. He said (and this is a famous quote in our tradition) "My body was condemend to die the moment it was born. Why would I cling to something that is only borrowed?" They administered him the anti-venom they had on hand and called an ambulance.

Because of our attachment to our life and our bodies, most of us would have leapt up upon being bitten, ran inside and fumbled with the telephone in our panic. We might even go back outside and try to kill the snake, who was only behaving in the way he knows how. There is no telling the irrational things we might do when we feel our life is about to end suddenly. Why is it that a snake bite can affect one individual's sense of peace so strongly, whereby it had no effect whatsoever on somebody else? It is because external circumstances have no intrinsic power to consume our happiness. They can only consume our happiness if, by continuing to experience the world through the conduit of desire, we allow external circumstances to affect our consciousness.



i disagree.  a counterexample in the abstract would be a person with a larger stomach who feels hunger more easily.

specifically, in this case, if this person doesn't really care about staying alive so much, because he truly believes dying isn't going to stop him from acheiving his deepest desire (enlightened reincarnation) then it's perfectly possible that he acted this way.

yet what is different about this person is the beliefs he truly has about the world.  like, if i believe there's a monster in my closet, i won't open it.  yet if person X doesn't believe there's a monster, he'll open it whenever he wants.

so here's an explanation for this person's behavior that does not rely on the dissolution of desire.

Quote:

>> now, considering that a person can be regularly happy, and regularly happy for an extended period of time, what makes you think that the spiritual people you're talking about are engaged in happiness of an intransient sort, rather than regular happiness of an extended sort?

All happiness, be it extremely brief or long lasting, is ultimately temporary happiness until we have cut the root of suffering, desire. The people I am talking about are not engaged in a happiness of an intransient sort: rather, they are cultivating a happiness of an intransient sort. As I said before, it is not so black and white. It is not that we are either absolutely pervaded by attachment and totally dependent on conditioned happiness, or utterly non-attached and totally content within ourself. Moving from one dispostion to the other is a gradual process that takes a long time.



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.

the reason i ask is because, as far as i can tell, there's no difference; and the reason i think it's transient, is this is the explanation that accords with occam's razor.

Quote:

The root of our argument, I think, is whether or not unconditioned happiness can be attained. I'm not sure if this is something that can be discovered by debating amongst each other. I can tell you from my personal experience that such happiness definitely can be attained. That's not to say that I've attained it. Far from it, in fact. But over the last three years that I've been practising Buddha's teachings, the power my desires have over me has become less and less. I used to have a terrible temper; it used to be that the slightest disturbance outside myself would cause me to become very angry and very unsettled. I was the sort of person who required that his living space be just so: everything needed to be in it's place and not a single speck of dust was tolerated. Looking back, it was an extremely neurotic way of relating to my surroundings. Now, however, after practising Buddha's teachings, these things no longer matter to me. I am still very organized, but if something happens which causes my living space to become disorgnized or messy, this no longer has the power to upset me. It is because I have softened my desires in that respect.



well listen, as an aside, i'm glad you feel changed in a way that makes you feel happier with how you relate to your world :thumbup:

back to the debate: maybe there's another explanation for these phenomena, than cessation of desire.  for example, people on this board have mentioned to posssibility of not acting on a desire when you have it, and it's been impressed on me that buddhism teaches this.  that could explain at least some of the phenomena you've experienced.  another thing is that it's not improbable that people who meditate and mindfully watch their thoughts and feelings as they arise, could therefore become less repressed in the process of meditation, and consequently integrate repressed feelings in a way that leads away from neuroticism.

Quote:

This is not to say that I have some special attainment. Just a few months ago I underwent seperation from the woman I thought I'd marry. This was incredibly tumultuous for me; I was very aggitated, confused and unhappy. However, I look back at the experience through the lense of Buddha's teachings, and I see that I was under the control of my desirous attachment. In reality, my seperation from her was just a change in the terms of our relationship, and a change in physical proximity. It only became more than this when my attachment to the comfort of different circumstances was frustrated. I do miss her and of course I still love her, but through informing me about the nature of suffering, that fact of our separation now increases my happiness instead of detracting from it.



debate aside, i'm glad you found some meaning through this experience, ped :heart:

Quote:

I do not know any enlightened beings personally. I know of beings who are engaged in a practise that leads to the cessation of suffering. They feel pain just like the rest of us. Some of that pain comes from their remaining attachments. Each day that they practise non-attachment makes them less vulnerable to suffering and brings them closer to liberation.

Buddha said "like drops in a bucket, soon the bucket is full." This is the gradual Buddhist path.



bluecoyote on this board (and i've seen the idea posted before) stated that 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.

i don't know, but i wonder if perhaps conceiving of suffering in this way could reconcile the objections i have, and the buddhism you practice.

what do you think?


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OfflinePed
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5055897 - 12/13/05 04:39 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

>> 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. 


>> if this person doesn't really care about staying alive so much,

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? 

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."


>> 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.


>> people on this board have mentioned to posssibility of not acting on a desire when you have it, and it's been impressed on me that buddhism teaches this. that could explain at least some of the phenomena you've experienced. another thing is that it's not improbable that people who meditate and mindfully watch their thoughts and feelings as they arise, could therefore become less repressed in the process of meditation, and consequently integrate repressed feelings in a way that leads away from neuroticism.

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

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.


>> 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! :smile:

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.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5057036 - 12/13/05 01:58 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
yet i feel like i don't get my point across in these threads.  as right as you are, i'm under the impression that many people are still going to walk away believing they can choose to be happy by "reprogramming" alone- which doesn't make sense:

if a need is real, then the need must be satisfied (i agree it can be tuna or eggs).  simply "reprogramming" one's brain, however, doesn't satisfy any need, cause a person's still got to eat in the first place.




I think the result of all of this difference in viewpoints is that you seem to blur the distinctions between physical needs and desires. Most of your examples and points agansit the concept of "mental programming" relate to the need to eat and the experience of being hungry which prompts one to eat. I will not deny that hunger is a signal expressing a need to consume sustenance, and that responding to the signal by gathering and thus consuming sustenance is beneficial to the health and wellbeing of the individual. I will also not deny that, if one is operating with desires within one's mind, these desires will be experienced similarily to physical needs. If the distinction is not made between physical necessities that are suggested to us that we become conscious of them through mental signals, and thought-based desires that operate as a mechanism that identifies a suspossed need and manipulates our experience of our emotional being to send signals to our conscious presence that suggest we fufill those needs, then it is perfectly understandable that one would not see the benefit of mentally reprogramming these mental desires, as one would thus find them as necessary and their needs as real.

It is not a physical neccessity for us to feel as though we are bored in a situation where we are not faced with a certain stimulation that we are partial towards. If I am sitting in a doctor's waiting room, and the situation that has brought me to be in such a circumstance is such that we do not feel it is beneficial to bring ourselves elsewhere, and the only real options for activity as we wait are to read out-dated magazines or sit silently and observe the room.... Is it a physical necessity for us to receive the signal that specifies that this situation is boring and lacking substance, in order to provoke us to fufill the need to be satisfied in whichever manner it is we wish to satisfy ourselves (television, friends, guitar, etc.)?

Is it a physical necessity for myself to feel fear when contemplating the possibillity of losing one's job and the possible chance of having difficulity in securing another occupation? While the necessity relative to one's living situation demands that one is employed in order to sustain one's livelihood within that situation, the experience of an emotional signal such as fear will only seperate oneself from the present experience one is in, which would interfere with one's ability to interact with their environment in a manner that would demonstate that it would not be wise for their employer to fire them.

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

Quote:

you can bet your bottom dollar that its antithesis will remain popular.




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. 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.

Is it possible to learn a new language? Definitely. Is it possible to go through therapy to overcome fears or addictions? Most certainly. Is it conceivable that one can induce a fantastic experience with mushrooms and experience oneself in entirely new forms? D'uh. 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?

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. We can upgrade our mind and its thought patterns and behaviors to a new, upgraded format that will serve as a more effective tool for conducting our experience of life. Blurring the lines between physical necessity and emotion-bound desire presenting itself as physical need that is merely an unecessary, disadvantageous abstraction is the first obstruction from being able to initialize such profound, meaningful transformation.

Quote:


perhaps this is because telling oneself that needs can be satisfied through force of will alone is much easier than taking responsibility for caring for those needs?




This is a prime display of the fundamental source of your inability to realize what it is that I am expressing. "Force of will" (force has absolutely nothing to do with it :lol:), 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. :smirk:

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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5057067 - 12/13/05 02:04 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

Ped said:
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.




I haven't had the time yet to catch up on this exchange, but 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). Does that help at all, crunchy?

And at that, it is now bed-time. :grin:

: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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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: fireworks_god]
    #5057899 - 12/13/05 04:33 PM (15 years, 11 months 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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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: OneWhoHasSeen]
    #5059322 - 12/13/05 09:46 PM (15 years, 11 months 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.


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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 (15 years, 11 months 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 (15 years, 11 months 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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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Moonshoe]
    #5061041 - 12/14/05 07:10 AM (15 years, 11 months 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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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: redgreenvines]
    #5061674 - 12/14/05 11:44 AM (15 years, 11 months 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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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5062393 - 12/14/05 02:57 PM (15 years, 11 months 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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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5062431 - 12/14/05 03:08 PM (15 years, 11 months 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 (15 years, 11 months 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 (15 years, 11 months 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?


--------------------
"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]
    #5063272 - 12/14/05 06:29 PM (15 years, 11 months 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 (15 years, 11 months 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.


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


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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 (15 years, 11 months 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 (15 years, 11 months 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...


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5063736 - 12/14/05 08:23 PM (15 years, 11 months 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 (15 years, 11 months 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.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5064515 - 12/14/05 10:59 PM (15 years, 11 months 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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Edited by Ped (12/14/05 11:20 PM)


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Ped]
    #5066455 - 12/15/05 12:06 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

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

:thumbup:


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5066512 - 12/15/05 12:23 PM (15 years, 11 months 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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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: redgreenvines]
    #5066526 - 12/15/05 12:27 PM (15 years, 11 months 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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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5066604 - 12/15/05 12:47 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

guilt can be as elaborate as the taj mahal.
as can be compassion


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: redgreenvines]
    #5066619 - 12/15/05 12:50 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

:lol:  Yes, I know, I grew up in the Taj Mahal. (Figuratively speaking. :wink:)


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5066637 - 12/15/05 12:55 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

then you must be either catholic or jewish by birth


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5066638 - 12/15/05 12:55 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Thanks Ped for starting over..I totally lost the points in this jungle... Perhaps we could concretisize ?
:weirdeyes:


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


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: redgreenvines]
    #5066641 - 12/15/05 12:56 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Close...my mother is a lapsed Roman Catholic.  (Or as she likes to put it, a "recovering" Catholic.  :grin:)

Guilt and garlic.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: Veritas]
    #5070339 - 12/16/05 09:46 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

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.
sounds good.

Because they do not affect all living beings the same way, external conditions do not possess intrinsic capacity to generate feelings within living beings.
sounds good...

Neither suffering nor happiness arrive within our mind from the outside. Both of these conditions arise and cease only within the mind.
that's a huge leap of logic! a psych researcher by the name of amos tversky in the 1970s outlined why some critters cathexize differently. the explanation he found, was stimulus-stimulus learning. this forms the bridge between "mental" and "physical" needs. (i hope we can both agree that all organisms grow hungry without food.) for example, if i find that money is able to bring me food, i will soon value money, as well.

(this theory is useful because it explains more complex behavior than that which could be explained with traditional pavlovian stimulus-response learning most of us are familiar with. for example, how can a rat find its way through a maze? at each individual location in the maze, the rat has no idea how to cathexize the next state, unless that next state turns out to be rewarding. s-r conditioning only explains why the rat would move toward the cheese when right in front of it, but s-s conditioning combined with s-r conditioning shows how he can find his way through the whole maze.)

consider tversky's explanation for s-s learning, which can be shown to exist, at least in some cases-- it's much more likely that this exists in all cases, thanks to occam's razor.

What is Needed For Objects to Generate Feelings Within Living Beings

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.
this can more parsimoniously explained by the repressive hypothesis i've outlined in this thread.

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.
can we agree that an empty belly generates hunger? does the hunger not signify a desire for food?
for your position to hold, it would have to be true that the so-called "mental" needs operate according to a different logic- where pain/pleasure signify no desire. yet this position is less parsimonious than the one i've taken: that the same principle that pain/pleasure signifies a desire can be applied to both hunger and "mental" needs.

[n]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.
do you have any evidence that anyone has experienced eternal happiness? what makes you think it's more likely the soul lives past death, rather than thru decomposition of the brain? surely the it's more parsimonious to say that consciousness and all its feelings are contained in the brain, and degrade upon death, --than that there exists a brain and some spirit, for which we have no evidence for, but still explains all the same phenomena.

i understand if you don't want to explore this avenue of thought, but that's my argument that shows eternal happiness is very unlikely.


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.
i used to believe this, and apply this in my own life, but found that after certain intervals, i always inevitably "suffered" once more.

Because this practise actually leads us to a more realistic way of dealing with reality, it is not a repressive practise.
this begs the question of whether it's realistic, which i've shown many times to be very unlikely.

also here is my animal argument: why do animals respond to s-s conditioning if it's self-deceptive? surely you need a more highly developed brain to develop the capacity for self-deception. yet in only humans do we find the philosophy you're talking about, which can more parsimoniously be explained as repression.

*******************************************************************

again, the summarize my occam's razor argument, which no one has been able to counter:

repression exists at least in some cases (everyone seems to agree on this). the phenomena of detachment, etc, can equally be explained as repression. it's either repression or true detachment. yet if we say it's true detachment, that invokes an extra principle into the explanation, which occam's razor cuts away. this does not mean it's impossible detachment is the true explanation; however it makes it very unlikely.

similarly, i don't believe in unicorns; i think their existence in medievil art is likely the result of imagination. surely everyone agrees that many fantastical things appear in art. there's no evidence for the existence of unicorns outside of their appearance in art. there are two explanations i can think of: one, that their appearance in medievil art is the result of the existence of real unicorns, or that their appearance is the result of artistic imagination. surely the second is the more parsimonious explanation, since you can take away the principle of "real existence of unicorns" to explain it.

does this mean it's impossible that unicorns don't exist? surely it's possible that there exists a unicorn somewhere, for which we have no evidence. yet it's extremely unlikely, because we have a more parsimonious explanation for the same phenomena.


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


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5072244 - 12/16/05 06:17 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
how does one resolve it?




I have already directly answered this several times. As my last reply was six pages long, I am going to seek any manner in which I can become more concise and succinct. Asking the same questions again and again is not a method of effective debate, and I will request that you cease.

Quote:


yet this would be impossible with all people according to my theory, since some people repress feeling lonely.




You have absolutely no basis that some people repress feeling lonely. It certainly is a possibillity. You refute that it would be impossible to demonstrate that a person will experience a state of loneliness when they are without companionship, but by the exact same reasoning, it would be impossible to conclude that some people repress that loneliness. You are digging your own grave, my friend. :lol:

Quote:


  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.




I would strongly suggest that you use the term "lazy" in place of the term "parsimonious" that appears to be the cornerstone of your arguement. When it becomes difficult to analyze whether or not someone is not repressing but instead actively reprogramming their mind in order to remove the mechanism responsible for the experience that you suggest is being repressed in the first place, you simply conclude that they are repressing as it is a simpler, easier explanation. That is not an effective, responsible, scientific way to prove any reasonable point. :thumbdown:

Quote:


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.




Their behavior is precisely evident of their thoughts. Difficulty in an observer's ability to analyze and intrepret behavior is not evidence agansit this.

Quote:


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




As if the human face is the only thing capable of expression! Behavioral studies of animals are indeed quite advanced, to the point where scientists observing the complex, rhythmic motions of a bee can pinpoint exactly the location the bee is communicating so that they can arrive at the location before the bees themselves. It is foolish to assume that animals experience emotions as humans do but that they simply have no means by which to express these emotional states.

Quote:


most people exeperience loneliness when deprived of companions.




You have not yet substansiated this claim.

Quote:


  why these individuals have evolved with this capacity




You have not demonstrated that these individuals have evolved with this capacity. It is equally possible that it is a learned trait that is developed by the mind itself.

Quote:


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.




If I am sitting in this room and experience a state of boredom as a result of replying to your post, is that representing an underlying need? The necessity of myself needing a certain type of stimulation that is not present in this situation is relative and resulting from my thought processes. The fact that there is not a human being in this room with me and that I am not experiencing loneliness as a result of such a lack of companionship is strongly suggestive that which you propose is not an instinctual drive. It is all relative to my individual mind and the nature of my present experience.

Quote:


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.




Your entire arguement is only supported by the occam's razor that you are not even properly utilizing. As Veritas commented upon, ""Multiples should not be used if not needed.". Severe flaws in your proposal (no actual demonstration why self-therapy is actually repression, most notably :tongue:) outline the fact that more variables need to be used. What exactly are you basing your entire contention that the concept of self-therapy and resolution of negative experiences is not possible upon? The fact that you yourself repress such experiences and that you feel the need to justify repression, or that you have yourself attempted to utilize such self-therapy and failed, thus determining it not possible?

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?




The simpler explanation for the phenomenon represented by a light bulb is that it is magic. The fact that it takes less effort and is less complex of an explanation does not in any way make it more likely than science's explanation based on observation. Stating that the simpler explanation is more likely because it is simpler is only the assertion of a lazy mind.

Quote:


in what way?




In that our thought processes are a mechanism that creates our behavior. Our behavior is thus the expression of our thought processes. Ahem. :smirk:

Quote:


what's the difference?




Once more, asking a question again after it has already been answered is not an effective manner in which to debate. You seem to be more concerned with asking the same questions over and over instead of actually venturing forth to understand that which others are expressing.

Quote:


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*).




The phenomenon known as mind is not occuring physically, regardless of whether or not it is resultant of physical processes. You have not in any way explained the phenomeon known as mind with fewer principles by demonstrating that the mind is resultant of physical processes. What of the mind itself, now? Where is its location? If is is occuring physically, it will have a location.

Quote:


question: do you find hunger uncomfortable?




Not necessarily, no. Hunger is hunger. It is experienced as it is. I do not assign definitions as it can be known to me as it is experienced.

Quote:


surely a person's thought process leads them to seek food when they're hungry.




Obviously, a person's thought processes in response to the signal represented by the word hunger can lead them to seek food, just as someone who is fasting's thought processes will lead them to not seek food. Does someone who fasts repress their feeling of being hungry? From what I understand of the nature of fasting, the entire purpose is to embrace the experience of the physical feeling but to destroy the addictive response to immediately satisfy the feeling.

I'm sure it is possible to repress the experience of being hungry, but yet it is entirely possible to not repress it but to not satisfy the conditions that the mechanism creating the signal demands. What basis is your arguement resting upon again? :lol:


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.


And yet if you are so consumed by automatic thought processes that make you feel depressed, that there are an abundance of threats in your environment, that you are made to feel guilty and abandoned and worthless, etc. etc. etc, you will have even less capacity to focus than if you were simply physically inebriated. Focus is necessary as focus is awareness. :grin:


you're presupposing this is possible; i have shown with my occam's razor argument many times that this is unlikely to be.


You have demonstrated nothing with your misuse and misunderstanding of occam's razor. Repression as a simpler explanation for the lack of an experience of a negative state resulting from some responsible mechanism does not work when you cannot even demonstrate that one is engaging in repression. :thumbdown: Occam's razor applies in situations where we have accounted for every variable necessary in order for such a situation to occur, such as the creation of fire. One could effectively use the razor to demonstrate that the necessity of invisible pixies in order to create fire is bunk as we already have accounted for every participating variable and can create fire without invoking these invisible pixies. When you cannot even substansiate whether or not one is engaging in repression, it is impossible to use Occam's razor, it would thus seem. :lol:


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.



The thought processes responsible for mental desires can be rational or as irrational as you would like them to be. This is no arguement agansit anything.


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.


You can engage your mind in any manner that you wish. If you were truly devoted to believing that one can fly through will alone, you would actively participate in restructuring your thought processes in order to allow for such a belief - just as people allow for the belief in the common conception of a Christian god.

Your concept of self-deception does not apply to the mind. If one thought is identified as representing yourself, then one would be attempting to deceive the other, eh? :smirk: How much understanding of the mind do you actually hold? Which one represents the self and which one does not? They both do? Or only the first one? Is the self some concrete thing that cannot change itself? Can it not contradict itself in its multi-faceted complexity? If it can, then what is this deception that you refer to? :tongue:



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


:lol: Oh, it must, now must it? Yes, human beings acting mature certainly is a rare and far-between occurence, it is no wonder why so many people think the concept of developing oneself and restructuring one's thought processes to become mature and receptive to reality is impossible and must simply be that of repression. :thumbdown:


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.


I am glad that you recognize that you desire the cookies that you were currently eating as you expressed that you desire them. I would like to see you recognize that, just as you desire such, others can operate in a mental realm that does not consist of desire.

It should also be plain that, as you are eating them, you do long for them. Want/longing for would certainly seem to be the same thing, and that is what desire is. Its the definition of desire. To desire as you are satisfying that desire? Sounds like a mental problem to me. :smirk:


how could one choose to eat the cookies in front of them unless one desired them on some level?


Why does the ability to make a conscious choice need to be confined by a thought process that demands a certain choice? Can a random number generator select a number without desiring that number on a certain level? Desire and free choice based on unattached preference are two entirely different methods of operation, and both are equally possible, dependant on and relative to the individual and their mind. The fact that one person such as yourself operates with desire does not mean that others do not. You take your own experience of your mind and demand that it is the same for everyone, as it is all that you know. The mind is far too dynamic and diverse to operate in such a limited sense for everyone, as everyone has different experience.


yet this experience could be accounted for through repression.  my question was, why do you think that this isn't repression?


I realize what your question was, it should be plainly obvious what your question is as it has been repeatedly offered even after it has been directly answered. I'm sorry that my previous answer wasn't what you expected of myself, reality doesn't conform to expectations, but I am too focused on productive discussion to spin my tires so repeatedly and in overwhelming vain. :grin:


here's the traits as i'm using them: putting a feeling out of awareness.


By your definition, thus, satisfying one's feeling of hunger by consuming food is repression as it consists of taking action that puts feeling out of one's awareness. Repression certainly is the simplest explanation that explains all behavior, now isn't it. :lol:


what if you pushed the effort from awareness as well?


Then the pushing of that effort would be conscious, and the same would apply.


once more, i agree, it merely makes the situation much more likely.


Simplest explanation = more likely. Not so. :nonono:


my understanding is that processing through something implies removing emotions from repression.


So to perform mental work as the result of therapy in order to get to the source of consciously experienced depression implies repressing such emotion? I thought the nature of repression was such that it removed such emotion from conscious awareness. :smirk:

This therapy would involve finding the specific thought process responsible for the emotion that is being experienced and reprogramming it so that its subsequent inflicted emotions will not be initiated. The specific thought process would, by nature, be subconscious. Such therapy would involve removing repression, as repression is apparently forcing certain thoughts and subsequent feelings into the subconscious. So how is doing so in itself repression? :lol: :lol: :lol:


i think we fear something if we find it threatening.  the cat turns out not to be threatening.


And what aspect of ourself associated the cat with being threatening in the first place? That is what is identified for what it is and is consciously reprogrammed. That is exactly what is being addressed here!


  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.


Integration of information concerning one's environment, in itself, is not what is responsible for the mental change. It is an active, conscious process that takes into consideration this new information, analyzes its previous thought process that associated the concept of a cat with being a threat to oneself and subsequently inflicted negative emotions such as fear upon oneself, and thus reprograms it so that it no longer inflicts such emotion. This is not repression. It doesn't force the emotion or the thought process into the subconscious. It consciously alters it. The Db that emits from my keyboard will never come into being if I do not initially strike the key that is responsible.



for example how can a person choose not to feel lonely?


This has already been addressed.


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.


And what evidence would amount to the condemnation to always feel lonely if one is not with companionship? The fact that one has always felt lonely if one is without companionship? :lol: Apparently, according to you, the fact that one has existed with certain thoughts in the past means that one cannot change into a different form without deceiving oneself. This does not make sense. :thumbdown:


is it possiblt to fully accept one's feelings and strive to change them through an act of will?


Ja. :wink:

: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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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: fireworks_god]
    #5074194 - 12/17/05 03:54 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

crunchytoast said:
how does one resolve it?
---------------------------------------------------------------------
I have already directly answered this several times. As my last reply was six pages long, I am going to seek any manner in which I can become more concise and succinct. Asking the same questions again and again is not a method of effective debate, and I will request that you cease.

you have failed to show how thru the example you give, that it must end in an end to desire, and not repression.

You have absolutely no basis that some people repress feeling lonely. It certainly is a possibillity. You refute that it would be impossible to demonstrate that a person will experience a state of loneliness when they are without companionship, but by the exact same reasoning, it would be impossible to conclude that some people repress that loneliness.
incorrect.  my argument is based on what i thought was a common assumption: that some people repress emotion sometimes.

consider: have you ever had the experience of seeing someone whose face turns red, teeth clench, hands turn to fists, as they shout, "IM NOT ANGRY!"  surely such a case is a repressed emotion.  what are these signs of but emotion?  yet what is the person's own awareness of their emotion?

since, in principle, it's possible to repress anger (as should be obvious) then surely, in principle, it's possible to repress loneliness.

i've already stated that my argument flows, as soon as the existence of repression is established, and invited people to question whether repression exists, at least sometimes; and this is the only reason i didn't bother giving an example that obviously demonstrates repression.

or is such a person in a state of enlightenment in your view? :lol:

I would strongly suggest that you use the term "lazy" in place of the term "parsimonious" that appears to be the cornerstone of your arguement.
it's not lazy if there's a way of verifying one over the other hypothesis.  do you have such a way?  if there's no way of determining which is which, then concluding as i conclude is no different than concluding that unicorns don't exist, despite the "evidence" that they exist contained in medievil art.

When it becomes difficult to analyze whether or not someone is not repressing but instead actively reprogramming their mind in order to remove the mechanism responsible for the experience that you suggest is being repressed in the first place, you simply conclude that they are repressing as it is a simpler, easier explanation. That is not an effective, responsible, scientific way to prove any reasonable point.
it's scientific because science is based on the principle of occam's razor.

theory #1
repression exists (and explains all the phenomena in question)

theory #2
repression exists (and is what's behind all phenomena except one kind)
non-repressive non-attachment also exists as a true possibility

theory #3
there is no repression, and only non-attachment to explain all the phenomena

(theory 3 can be disproved by my example of repressed anger, unless you want to argue my example)

note: theory 2 is still problematic, even if it weren't cut away by occam's razor, since there would nevertheless be no way to tell whether a particular instance of non-attachment was indeed that, or repression.

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.

Their behavior is precisely evident of their thoughts. Difficulty in an observer's ability to analyze and intrepret behavior is not evidence agansit this.

huh?  what if a group of people are playing poker and a bomb goes off, killing them all?  then you would never know their thoughts, and there would be no behavior that would evidence their thoughts.  surely thoughts and behavior don't ALWAYS go together, in every conceivable circumstance.

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

As if the human face is the only thing capable of expression! Behavioral studies of animals are indeed quite advanced, to the point where scientists observing the complex, rhythmic motions of a bee can pinpoint exactly the location the bee is communicating so that they can arrive at the location before the bees themselves.

:lol: what emotion is that in your example?

It is foolish to assume that animals experience emotions as humans do but that they simply have no means by which to express these emotional states.
when you turn off the lights, do you not hear the weeping of moths?


most people exeperience loneliness when deprived of companions.

You have not yet substansiated this claim.

do most people have companions, as you can tell?  why would they have companions if they didn't desire compaionship?

You have not demonstrated that these individuals have evolved with this capacity. It is equally possible that it is a learned trait that is developed by the mind itself.
belief in christianity is surely a learned trait.  yet the majority of the world's population seems to desire companionship, but this isn't true of a learned trait such as christianity.

If I am sitting in this room and experience a state of boredom as a result of replying to your post, is that representing an underlying need? The necessity of myself needing a certain type of stimulation that is not present in this situation is relative and resulting from my thought processes. The fact that there is not a human being in this room with me and that I am not experiencing loneliness as a result of such a lack of companionship is strongly suggestive that which you propose is not an instinctual drive. It is all relative to my individual mind and the nature of my present experience.
this can be equally explained by the pure repressive hypothesis: either a) you are repressing your need for companionship from your awareness; or b) you have satisfied your need for companionship some way.

there's no need to invoke an extra principle (real non-attachment) to explain this.  please, tell me fwg, how you know for a fact both a) that you're not repressing your need for companionship, and b) that you havent satisfied your need for companionship some other way?

Your entire arguement is only supported by the occam's razor
this is indeed the crux of the argument i am presenting.

that you are not even properly utilizing. As Veritas commented upon, ""Multiples should not be used if not needed.".
:yawn: done so.

Severe flaws in your proposal (no actual demonstration why self-therapy is actually repression,
sounds like you're misunderstanding occam's razor.  occam's razor says, when you have two explanations, you select the simpler one.  i don't need to show that self-therapy is necessarily repression, only that it could be equally explained by it.  if a person says, 'i only prefer have friends, i'm not addicted to friends' would that make such a statement necessarily true?  surely no more than saying '2+2=5' would make it so.  yet such a person changes what's in their conscious awareness.  perhaps this change constitutes a real change in their desiring process.  or perhaps this change is merely repression.  which is the simpler explanation?

most notably ) outline the fact that more variables need to be used. What exactly are you basing your entire contention that the concept of self-therapy and resolution of negative experiences is not possible upon?
explained before.  numerous times.  see occam's razor references above.

The fact that you yourself repress such experiences and that you feel the need to justify repression, or that you have yourself attempted to utilize such self-therapy and failed, thus determining it not possible?
nope; the occam's razor argument is what my position relies upon.  i also have other arguments in mind, but for brevity's sake (haha) and simplicity's (hahaha) sake i'm sticking with just this one.

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?

The simpler explanation for the phenomenon represented by a light bulb is that it is magic.

occam's razor disproves science! :lol:

The fact that it takes less effort and is less complex of an explanation does not in any way make it more likely than science's explanation based on observation.
see, the thing is, it's about an explanation for the observed phenomena.  magic doesn't do a good job of explaining how you've attached an electric supply to the lightbulb, etc, or as you put it 'observation.'

the thing is, you use occam's razor after you have all your observations.

considering this debate, you'd have to provide an observation that couldn't be 100% explained with repression, but which could be explained 100% with non-attachment.  because then you have a theory that fits the evidence better, and you use that.  but with two theories that have different number of principles but the same observations for each - that's where the razor comes in, and cuts away non-attachment.

Stating that the simpler explanation is more likely because it is simpler is only the assertion of a lazy mind.
incorrect; it's simply the mark a scientifically educated mind.

In that our thought processes are a mechanism that creates our behavior. Our behavior is thus the expression of our thought processes. Ahem.
the other day i was pissed off and felt like punching someone in the face.  yet i didn't.  yet i felt like doing so.

have you ever felt in an analogous way?  is it truly impossible to feel like doing something, without acting on it?

The phenomenon known as mind is not occuring physically, regardless of whether or not it is resultant of physical processes.
my position is that mind is a physical process, since this accords with observation in a more parsimonious fashion.

You have not in any way explained the phenomeon known as mind with fewer principles by demonstrating that the mind is resultant of physical processes. What of the mind itself, now? Where is its location? If is is occuring physically, it will have a location.
the brain?

also, the location of my windows xp is my computer's hard drive.

I'm sure it is possible to repress the experience of being hungry, but yet it is entirely possible to not repress it but to not satisfy the conditions that the mechanism creating the signal demands. What basis is your arguement resting upon again?
occam's razor.  see last ten posts by user crunchytoast in this thread.


And yet if you are so consumed by automatic thought processes that make you feel depressed, that there are an abundance of threats in your environment, that you are made to feel guilty and abandoned and worthless, etc. etc. etc, you will have even less capacity to focus than if you were simply physically inebriated.
i was tired this morning, yet was able to procure myself some kix, instead of sleeping.
Focus is necessary as focus is awareness.
on the contrary, i see evidence against a necessary connection.

You have demonstrated nothing with your misuse and misunderstanding of occam's razor.
maybe it all comes down to magic? :lol:

Repression as a simpler explanation for the lack of an experience of a negative state resulting from some responsible mechanism does not work when you cannot even demonstrate that one is engaging in repression.  Occam's razor applies in situations where we have accounted for every variable necessary in order for such a situation to occur, such as the creation of fire.
what?  occam's razor is the basis of quantum mechanics: we have the heisenberg uncertainty principle where (memory rusty?) you can't know both the velocity (?) and location (?) of a particle at the same time: so you cut out particle and introduce quantum states.  (blerghungfloo or something like that).  anyway occam's razor is at the foundation of quantum theory.

One could effectively use the razor to demonstrate that the necessity of invisible pixies in order to create fire is bunk as we already have accounted for every participating variable and can create fire without invoking these invisible pixies. When you cannot even substansiate whether or not one is engaging in repression, it is impossible to use Occam's razor, it would thus seem.
you're looking at two examples that aren't analogous.  the fire example: you show that you don't need pixies to explain.  the repression example would therefore analogously show that you don't need non-attachment to explain.  you when you actually bring up the repression analogy, you say something strangely very different than the analogy you're trying to draw would imply...

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.

You can engage your mind in any manner that you wish. If you were truly devoted to believing that one can fly through will alone, you would actively participate in restructuring your thought processes in order to allow for such a belief - just as people allow for the belief in the common conception of a Christian god.

by and large, our beliefs are the results of our experiences.  if i see that jumping off a building ends in death, i'll tend not to try it.

nevertheless there may be exceptional cases, where people claim to change their beliefs.  perhaps this is truly done, or perhaps this is merely repression.  perhaps we should turn to william of occam to solve this dilemma for us?

Your concept of self-deception does not apply to the mind. If one thought is identified as representing yourself, then one would be attempting to deceive the other, eh?  How much understanding of the mind do you actually hold? Which one represents the self and which one does not? They both do? Or only the first one? Is the self some concrete thing that cannot change itself? Can it not contradict itself in its multi-faceted complexity? If it can, then what is this deception that you refer to?
that went way over my head, fwg.  what i mean by self-deception is what i had in mind when i talked about a person who appeared to be angry but said they werent.

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

Oh, it must, now must it? Yes, human beings acting mature certainly is a rare and far-between occurence, it is no wonder why so many people think the concept of developing oneself and restructuring one's thought processes to become mature and receptive to reality is impossible and must simply be that of repression.

i suppose this depends on your definition of mature.  personally i think it's more mature to be open with one's emotions.

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.

I am glad that you recognize that you desire the cookies that you were currently eating as you expressed that you desire them. I would like to see you recognize that, just as you desire such, others can operate in a mental realm that does not consist of desire.

nay, this is doubtful thanks to william of occam.

It should also be plain that, as you are eating them, you do long for them. Want/longing for would certainly seem to be the same thing, and that is what desire is. Its the definition of desire. To desire as you are satisfying that desire? Sounds like a mental problem to me.
plainly this associative chain of longing-wanting-desiring is shown to be false by the fact that i wouldn't continue to eat cookies if i stopped desiring them as i began eating them.  your argument is structurally similar to one that says "black is white since black is a darker grey and grey is a darker white".

how could one choose to eat the cookies in front of them unless one desired them on some level?

Why does the ability to make a conscious choice need to be confined by a thought process that demands a certain choice? Can a random number generator select a number without desiring that number on a certain level?

people aren't random number generators.  in fact their behaviors can often be predicted quite well in controlled environments. 

Desire and free choice based on unattached preference are two entirely different methods of operation, and both are equally possible, dependant on and relative to the individual and their mind.
what basis is there for choice, if not desire, or randomness (the latter which can be shown to be false)?

The fact that one person such as yourself operates with desire does not mean that others do not.
this isn't my argument.  my argument relies on the razor.


here's the traits as i'm using them: putting a feeling out of awareness.

By your definition, thus, satisfying one's feeling of hunger by consuming food is repression as it consists of taking action that puts feeling out of one's awareness. Repression certainly is the simplest explanation that explains all behavior, now isn't it. 

then let me try to adjust my definition since you seem totally clueless as to what i mean by repression :rolleyes:

"putting a feeling out of awareness through force of will alone"
honestly this seems like nitpicking to me.  do you sincerely not understand the concept?  the meaning should be obvious from its use.

what if you pushed the effort from awareness as well?

Then the pushing of that effort would be conscious, and the same would apply.

yes indeed, an effort would be conscious, but its object repressed.  this accords with what's been described as non-attachment in this thread 'focus on the thought process, see their illusory nature' sounds like exactly the sort of effort i'm talking about.

once more, i agree, it merely makes the situation much more likely.

Simplest explanation = more likely. Not so.

is it more likely that unicorns don't exist than that they do?  why?

my understanding is that processing through something implies removing emotions from repression.

So to perform mental work as the result of therapy in order to get to the source of consciously experienced depression implies repressing such emotion? I thought the nature of repression was such that it removed such emotion from conscious awareness. 

i'm so confused!  yes that's repression.  yes, "process" in therapy as it's frequently defined among psychodynamic and humanist therapists at least, is a way of exploring repressed feelings and thereby "un-repressing" them.

This therapy would involve finding the specific thought process responsible for the emotion that is being experienced and reprogramming it so that its subsequent inflicted emotions will not be initiated. The specific thought process would, by nature, be subconscious. Such therapy would involve removing repression, as repression is apparently forcing certain thoughts and subsequent feelings into the subconscious. So how is doing so in itself repression? 
you're assuming that this is possible in the first place.  therefore you argument is implicitly structured this way:

1. assumption: this is possible in the first place
2. repression is got rid of.
3. this proves that this is possible.

the word for this is circular reasoning.

i think we fear something if we find it threatening. the cat turns out not to be threatening.

And what aspect of ourself associated the cat with being threatening in the first place? That is what is identified for what it is and is consciously reprogrammed. That is exactly what is being addressed here!

if i'm afraid it's going to scratch me, then i see that it won't...
it doesn't sound like self-identification is "reprogrammed" at all here.


Integration of information concerning one's environment, in itself, is not what is responsible for the mental change. It is an active, conscious process that takes into consideration this new information, analyzes its previous thought process that associated the concept of a cat with being a threat to oneself and subsequently inflicted negative emotions such as fear upon oneself, and thus reprograms it so that it no longer inflicts such emotion. This is not repression. It doesn't force the emotion or the thought process into the subconscious. It consciously alters it. The Db that emits from my keyboard will never come into being if I do not initially strike the key that is responsible.
this notion that the emotion must come from inside can equally be explained by saying the emotion must come from an interaction of inside and outside.

And what evidence would amount to the condemnation to always feel lonely if one is not with companionship?
i can think of none.  let us now turn to page 666 of occam's razor.

is it possiblt to fully accept one's feelings and strive to change them through an act of will?
i don't think so.  i think something unique happens when a person fully accepts their feelings, and fully becomes them.  that's true change, IMO; the unfolding of the process.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5074417 - 12/17/05 07:30 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
you have failed to show how thru the example you give, that it must end in an end to desire, and not repression.




A man chases another man around a parking lot with his car to the point where the man on foot trips and falls. The man with the car then gets out of his car and starts beating the shit out of him. The police are nearby and intervene, arresting the man with the car. They help the victim up. He's a little battered and thus disorientated, but he remains calm and displays no anger. The cops are impressed with his state of being considering the hysterical victims in similar situations that they usually deal with. He comments that he has already taken a physical beating, and that there is no reason to impose a mental beating upon himself as well.

The man has seemingly not repressed any experience of anger, as an effort to repress it would be too difficult if he was indeed angry, considering the extreme nature of the situation that he has been in. It would seem apparent that he never had a thought process occur that invoked negative emotions as a result.

However, there is no manner by which a person can determine such, just as one cannot use as evidence the fact that the man in your example is angry because his face turns red, he clenches his teeth and fists, and that he is repressing that purported anger because he exclaimed that he is not angry. Behavior is the direct result of one's thought processes, but an observer seperate from the experience of those thought processes has no method by which they can verify those thought processes by their subsequent behavior.

Your example is just as much a demonstration that repression is responsible as my example demonstrates that the man does not have a thought process responsible for the experience of anger in the first place.

Thus, you have no basis upon which to express that repression is a more likely or a more simple explanation for the lack of a conscious experience of a negative emotion or state.

Quote:


my argument is based on what i thought was a common assumption: that some people repress emotion sometimes.




You attempt to propose as a more likely, more simple explanation that anyone who does not consciously experience a negative experience in any situation is simply repressing that emotion because some people sometimes repress emotion? It would be analogous to propose that anyone in a relationship is merely participating in that relationship in an effort to eventually con the other person out of their money, as some people who engage in relationships with others are sometimes con artists seeking to steal money. :smirk:

Quote:

it's not lazy if there's a way of verifying one over the other hypothesis.  do you have such a way?




I have no manner in which to verify either hypothesis as it pertains to other people. I have manners in which to verify it as it pertains to my own mind. You do not have a manner in which to verify either hypothesis as it pertains to people seperate from yourself either.

Quote:


  if there's no way of determining which is which, then concluding as i conclude is no different than concluding that unicorns don't exist, despite the "evidence" that they exist contained in medievil art.




Medevil art is no effective evidence (I realize that you weren't suggesting that it is :tongue:) by which to conclude the actual existance of what that art represents. Behavior is no effective evidence to anyone who is not privledged with the experience of the thoughts of the person in question themself. I can create a quite convincing display of being uncontrollably upset, and even scream as I writhe that I am not angry, but yet there is nothing in this that demonstrates that I am actually experiencing a state of anger and that I am simply repressing it from being experienced consciously.

Quote:


it's scientific because science is based on the principle of occam's razor.




The principle of Occam's razor is based in science, rather. If it is not properly utilized, then it would not be based in science. I assert that more variables need to be taken into consideration in order to properly represent the actuality of the situation. If more variables need to be taken into consideration, then this razor will not apply.

Quote:


note: theory 2 is still problematic, even if it weren't cut away by occam's razor, since there would nevertheless be no way to tell whether a particular instance of non-attachment was indeed that, or repression.




By the same right, all three of your proposed theories will be equally problematic.

Quote:


huh?  what if a group of people are playing poker and a bomb goes off, killing them all?  then you would never know their thoughts, and there would be no behavior that would evidence their thoughts.  surely thoughts and behavior don't ALWAYS go together, in every conceivable circumstance.




When there is behavior, there is some mental mechanism responsible for the selection of that behavior. Such a relationship is instantaneous. Firstly, you would never know their thoughts anyways, and if there is no longer any behavior resulting from these thoughts, it is not an arguement agansit this relationship between thought and behavior just as the inability for an observer to know these thoughts from witnessing the behavior is not an arguement agansit this relationship.

Quote:


:lol: what emotion is that in your example?




It isn't an emotion. Emotion is expressed in the same manner that thoughts and ideas are expressed.

Quote:


do most people have companions, as you can tell?  why would they have companions if they didn't desire compaionship?




Why wouldn't they have companions if they didn't desire companionship? Are all relationships with others the result of a desire to be within that relationship? One could simply prefer to have companions. Desire is not a necessary aspect of the mind.

Quote:


belief in christianity is surely a learned trait.  yet the majority of the world's population seems to desire companionship, but this isn't true of a learned trait such as christianity.




But yet it is true of a learned trait such as the need for companionship. I don't believe that feral children openly seek companionship with others.... :lol: You have yet to demonstrate that it is not a learned trait but yet is an instinctual drive. If it is an instinctual drive, then it would seem likely that we would all seek the same amount of companionship and the same manner of engaging in companionship. As if everyone travelling the path alone is simply repressing their need for companionship. :wtf: You have yet to demonstrate that companionship is a need.

Quote:


this can be equally explained by the pure repressive hypothesis: either a) you are repressing your need for companionship from your awareness; or b) you have satisfied your need for companionship some way.




Perhaps I have satisfied my need for companionship by not having any companionship! :lol: You yourself stated that you desire your cookies as you are attempting to satisfy your desire for them. It would seem impossible for you to satisfy your need. Perhaps you simply start to repress your need for companionship or for food after other aspects of yourself start sending you signals that say to let up on your attempts to satisfy those initial signals! (the discomfort of a full stomach) :lol: It is as such that your repression concept is inherently flawed and that multitudes are necessary! :tongue:

Quote:

please, tell me fwg, how you know for a fact both a) that you're not repressing your need for companionship, and b) that you havent satisfied your need for companionship some other way?




Because I do not even know for fact if there exists a need for companionship or that satisfying it is even possible. There seems to be no method by which to verify any of this. Thus, it does not concern ourselves and does not apply to ourselves as it does not interact with ourselves in any manner - if it did, we would have means by which to identify and verify it.

Perhaps there lies dormant in my subsconscious some thought process that demands a need for companionship. As there is no experience of any subsequent thought or feeling that plays a role in any aspect of my experience of my thought processes, its existance is merely hypothetical. Quite possible, but my state of being and the processes I engage in are not effected by it in any manner. It does not pertain to me. It does nothing that can be observed, it does not interact with my processes in any way. Its existance is as probable as that of the little, invisible monkey on Saturn that does not release any energy. :lol:

Quote:


sounds like you're misunderstanding occam's razor.  occam's razor says, when you have two explanations, you select the simpler one.  i don't need to show that self-therapy is necessarily repression, only that it could be equally explained by it.




You have not verified or demonstrated that it can act as the mechanics responsible for the phenomenon, and you have not demonstrated how it is a simpler explanation either. You have no right to use such a razor. :smirk:

Quote:


  if a person says, 'i only prefer have friends, i'm not addicted to friends' would that make such a statement necessarily true?  surely no more than saying '2+2=5' would make it so.




Surely not. Not one single person in this thread has ever implied that introducing a single thought that expresses some idea or concept automatically transforms that person's thought processes and experience. I do not know understand why you are debating points that have no relation to that which is being discussed in this thread. :confused:

Quote:


yet such a person changes what's in their conscious awareness.  perhaps this change constitutes a real change in their desiring process.  or perhaps this change is merely repression.  which is the simpler explanation?




The simpler explanation is that such a person changes what is within their conscious awareness. Whether or not this change in their conscious awareness thus constitutes an actual change in the mechanism responsible for choice (referring to it as a "desiring process" is presumptuous) requires more variables and more analyzation to determine. Neither repression or the concept of reprogramming one's thought processes is a simpler explanation.

Your entire proposal rests firmly upon the assertion that it is the simpler explanation, but it has yet to be demonstrated that it is even a possible explanation for the phenomenon that cannot even be verified.


see, the thing is, it's about an explanation for the observed phenomena.  magic doesn't do a good job of explaining how you've attached an electric supply to the lightbulb, etc, or as you put it 'observation.'


Neither does repression. No demonstration that repression even occurs.


considering this debate, you'd have to provide an observation that couldn't be 100% explained with repression, but which could be explained 100% with non-attachment.  because then you have a theory that fits the evidence better, and you use that.  but with two theories that have different number of principles but the same observations for each - that's where the razor comes in, and cuts away non-attachment.


The razor does not make an entrance, let alone slice away one explanation by the exact reasoning that would equally slice away the other one. :lol:


the other day i was pissed off and felt like punching someone in the face.  yet i didn't.  yet i felt like doing so.


Are you implying that you repressed the signal that expressed that it was necessary to punch someone else in the face in order to satisfy a state of anger? No fucking duh repression is a more simple explanation in such a situation - as the concept that I propose does not even apply in such a situation. If my concept was utilized, one would have never gotten pissed off and would have never experienced the desire to punch someone in the face as a result. My concept, if applied beforehand, would not necessitate an unnecessary and irrational experience of anger and a childish necessity to physically abuse another human being to fufill some irrational "need" of one's own. :nonono:


my position is that mind is a physical process, since this accords with observation in a more parsimonious fashion.


It is a physical process that is not experienced physically? The experience of the mind does not have physical attributes.


the brain?


Where is the thought that you are currently in the process of thinking?


what i mean by self-deception is what i had in mind when i talked about a person who appeared to be angry but said they werent.


You cannot deceive the self when the self is the culmination of what concerns it. The deception is the self just as much as it is that which the deception conceals.


plainly this associative chain of longing-wanting-desiring is shown to be false by the fact that i wouldn't continue to eat cookies if i stopped desiring them as i began eating them.


I would surmise that you never cease to desire the cookies within the perspective of repression, just that other signals would become more apparent and you would cease satisfying the initial desire in order to attempt to satisfy them. I would personally hate to be in a state of being bound and controlled by a perpetual state of a futile attempt to fufill addictions. :lol:


people aren't random number generators.  in fact their behaviors can often be predicted quite well in controlled environments. 


People aren't random number generators when their mental programming differs from the programming responsible for the function of a random number generator. People are what their mental programming is, and their mental programming can manifest in any manner. If people embrace preference instead of desire, they can make decisions without any attachment to any outcome, which will prevent any ignornant infliction of negative experience upon themself.


"putting a feeling out of awareness through force of will alone"
honestly this seems like nitpicking to me.  do you sincerely not understand the concept?  the meaning should be obvious from its use.


The definition of will is the mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action and the act of exercising that faculty. The definition of will implies consciousness, as it is a deliberate choice. The definition of repression implies an unconscious activity that is not made conscious. Repression is not an act of will, despite your claims. I feel that you are the one who does not understand. :smirk:

I'm sure it seems to be nitpicking when another expects you to use your own concepts in ways that do not negate your own concept. :lol:


yes indeed, an effort would be conscious, but its object repressed.  this accords with what's been described as non-attachment in this thread 'focus on the thought process, see their illusory nature' sounds like exactly the sort of effort i'm talking about.


If the effort would be conscious, then cessation of applying the effort would thrust the object of the effort back into consciousness. The fact that the effort occurs consciously would be evidence to the conscious presence that it is engaging in the act of repression, as such action is conscious. Not only that, but repression itself is not a conscious action. I fear that you are completely confused. :tongue:


is it more likely that unicorns don't exist than that they do?  why?


There is no manner by which we can determine which possibillity is more likely. Just as your entire contention, the razor does not apply. Pages and pages of replies based on something that you cannot actually use as a base? What has all of your effort been for?


i'm so confused!  yes that's repression.  yes, "process" in therapy as it's frequently defined among psychodynamic and humanist therapists at least, is a way of exploring repressed feelings and thereby "un-repressing" them.


It is this action of identifying the thought processes responsible for these feelings, repressed or not, and reforming these processes in order to either unrepress them or to make them unable to produce the unnecessary, negative emotion again that is the cornerstone of my concept. Are you agreeing with me?


you're assuming that this is possible in the first place.  therefore you argument is implicitly structured this way:

1. assumption: this is possible in the first place
2. repression is got rid of.
3. this proves that this is possible.

the word for this is circular reasoning.


I thought the word for it was the scientific method. You know, establish a theory, define an experiment, carry it out, analyze the results in relation to the theory, repeat ad infinitum.


this notion that the emotion must come from inside can equally be explained by saying the emotion must come from an interaction of inside and outside.


On condition that there is a mental process that observes external conditions and associates the presence of a certain aspect with the necessity of the internal experience of the emotion. The external conditions themself do not imply any necessity of the experience of any emotion.


i don't think so.  i think something unique happens when a person fully accepts their feelings, and fully becomes them.  that's true change, IMO; the unfolding of the process.


I think something unique and inspiring occurs when one analyzes and builds an understanding of the nature of their mind and the way it engages its data collected through the sense of reality and the way it analyzes and interprets that data and then chooses which way we will experience the subsequent sense of reality. Upon the realization that we can consciously influence the manner in which we intrepret reality, the oppurtunity for real change is born.

True change does not consist of assuming that, when I am verbally accosted, it is a natural aspect of myself to become emotionally upset and feel an irrational necessity to inflict physical suffering upon another human. :nonono: True change would consist of never having one's only oppurtunity to experience life violated by needless, negative suffering, and to have an automatic impulse to act a certain way within a situation that the mechanism responsible for the automatic impulse has never been in before.

True change would consist of increasing one's level of consciousness, not decreasing it. :thumbdown:

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I wouldn't fear
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Like being here
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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5074521 - 12/17/05 09:30 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

is it more likely that unicorns don't exist than that they do? why?

There is no manner by which we can determine which possibillity is more likely. Just as your entire contention, the razor does not apply. Pages and pages of replies based on something that you cannot actually use as a base? What has all of your effort been for?


this argument would be an endless one.  i wonder if whether it's likely or not is irresolvable.  surely, however, to say that unicorns don't exist is a simpler explanation for the phenomena, and therefore the more scientific one.

similarly, the repressive theory is the simpler explanation for the same phenomena.  consider:

Quote:

The principle of Occam's razor is based in science, rather. If it is not properly utilized, then it would not be based in science. I assert that more variables need to be taken into consideration in order to properly represent the actuality of the situation. If more variables need to be taken into consideration, then this razor will not apply.




Quote:

Your example is just as much a demonstration that repression is responsible as my example demonstrates that the man does not have a thought process responsible for the experience of anger in the first place.




now we're getting somewhere.

so you agreed that both theories can explain the same phenomena.  and you state that the theory you assert to be true, requires more "variables" for its explanation.

here is a link for you that should clear this up.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor

It is a physical process that is not experienced physically?the brain?
:confused: seems physical to me.
Where is the thought that you are currently in the process of thinking?

i just answered that quesion!  the brain!

you're assuming that this is possible in the first place. therefore you argument is implicitly structured this way:

1. assumption: this is possible in the first place
2. repression is got rid of.
3. this proves that this is possible.

the word for this is circular reasoning.

I thought the word for it was the scientific method. You know, establish a theory, define an experiment, carry it out, analyze the results in relation to the theory, repeat ad infinitum.

wow.  nope, that's an example of circular reasoning.  the scientific method finds empirical support for theories.  saying something's true because you assume it to be true is circular reasoning.

here's two links:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circular_reasoning
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

also, since there seems to be so much confusion around the term:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Occam%27s_razor

maybe a discussion of sufficient vs necessary would help?
"if s then n"
s is sufficient
n is necessary

with support for a theory (what science does) you find all these necessary things that would be true if s is true, and that's your support for a theory.  they don't make s necessarily true, but merely offer support for s.  however if you find a "not n" that implies that s is false, IOW it's a counterpoint to the argument.

with circular reasoning, s and n are the same thing.  'the repressive hypothesis is false because it's false.'  it's what you were doing in your post.  it's fallacious reasoning.

I don't believe that feral children openly seek companionship with others....
do you know of any examples of feral children that were raised together that stopped seeking companionship?


it may simply be that certain parts of the brain are developed in infancy, and rely on certain environmental stimuli for their development, and the reason feral children act as you claim they do, would therefore be that the appropriate parts of the brain weren't developed.

to summarize:
both theories explain the same phenomena, but repression explains with one less principle, therefore is the more scientific theory.


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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5074639 - 12/17/05 11:02 AM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
this argument would be an endless one.  i wonder if whether it's likely or not is irresolvable.




In terms of an observer outside of another's mind, it is quite possibly irresolvable. Within one's own mind, one has far more ability to experiment and to take more variables into consideration.

Quote:


  surely, however, to say that unicorns don't exist is a simpler explanation for the phenomena, and therefore the more scientific one.




For which phenomena, that of their appearance in medevil art? It might be simpler to state that they do not exist considering that we have not yet encountered any evidence towards their existance, but yet it is entirely possible that there is some distant planet that they live upon. Probable? I wouldn't think so, but it is impossible to prove something doesn't exist.

However, if we set up some process, such as that of electricity, and declared that unicorns had their part in that process, then Occam's razor would be free to slit some wrists away. :lol:

Quote:


similarly, the repressive theory is the simpler explanation for the same phenomena.




I disagree. It is equally plausible and equally unsubstansiated. 

Quote:


I assert that more variables need to be taken into consideration in order to properly represent the actuality of the situation.

so you agreed that both theories can explain the same phenomena.  and you state that the theory you assert to be true, requires more "variables" for its explanation.




That is not what I expressed. What I am implying is that more variables in the situation itself that we are attempting to explain need to be taken into consideration before we can determine which of the two explanations is more likely to actually represent the situation. I am not stating that one explanation requires more variables than the other to explain the phenomenon, but that we are not currently capable of taking enough aspects of the phenomenon into consideration to determine which explanation is more justifiable and which is more simple.

It looks like we are still not able to resolve this one. :wink:

Quote:


here is a link for you that should clear this up.




Interesting link, but it offers nothing more than what I have already understood of this Occam's razor. :grin:

Quote:


i just answered that quesion!  the brain!




As I currently understand it, the phenomenon of the mind as it occurs, is not physical, even though it results from physical processes. It would seem to be more holographic in nature than anything. Alas, I'm not a physics master, so I could definitely be wrong. :tongue:

Quote:


wow.  nope, that's an example of circular reasoning.  the scientific method finds empirical support for theories.  saying something's true because you assume it to be true is circular reasoning.




I don't recall where I stated that something is true because it is true, and I won't feel it necessary to research your links involving circular reasoning and the scientific method, as I feel I already understand the basic concepts of both. I referenced the scientific method in that I have formed a hypothesis of the nature of my mind, and have made subsequent experiments with which I test different aspects of my hypothesis and observe the effects, and also simply making observations without any specific experiements. I have from this further refined my concept and related understandings. I am not someone who will proclaim something is true because it is true - I openly engage in debate with individuals who say the Bible is the Word of God because the Bible itself proclaims itself as being the Word of God. :lol:

Quote:


it may simply be that certain parts of the brain are developed in infancy, and rely on certain environmental stimuli for their development, and the reason feral children act as you claim they do, would therefore be that the appropriate parts of the brain weren't developed.




If the need for companionship was an instinctual drive, I would make an uneducated guess that if the part of the brain responsible for it was never developed, then other instinctual drives such as the need to consume food would not be produced either. Perhaps? :grin:

Quote:


both theories explain the same phenomena, but repression explains with one less principle, therefore is the more scientific theory.




It doesn't explain the same phenomenon with one less principle. They are unique explanations that have no need to be relative to each other. Repression could exist without mental reprogramming as I described it and vice versa. Which is this extra principle that condemns mental reprogramming? Equal explanations that cannot be validated outside of the mind experiencing the phenomenon itself. No just application of Occam's razor is available.

Shall we declare stalemate, then? There is no loss of honor in that. :thumbup:

*shakes your hand*

I'm pretty sure we could convert this thread into novel format, and thus get more people to actually read 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

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Offlinecrunchytoast
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: fireworks_god]
    #5083544 - 12/19/05 10:07 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

crunchytoast said:
this argument would be an endless one. i wonder if whether it's likely or not is irresolvable.

In terms of an observer outside of another's mind, it is quite possibly irresolvable. Within one's own mind, one has far more ability to experiment and to take more variables into consideration.

i'm surprised. i talk about one thing, and your post has taken it and puts my quote in another context quite different than the original one. what you quote is a reference to whether scientific hypotheses are produce more "probable" predictions, which is sort of like a frequentist vs bayesian debate, yet it seems my original point has been taken out of context and applied it to a different element of the argument altogether. why, i don't know. perhaps its due to the long threads-within-this-thread that end up clipping themselves apart as they grow too long.

surely, however, to say that unicorns don't exist is a simpler explanation for the phenomena, and therefore the more scientific one.

For which phenomena, that of their appearance in medevil art? It might be simpler to state that they do not exist considering that we have not yet encountered any evidence towards their existance, but yet it is entirely possible that there is some distant planet that they live upon. Probable? I wouldn't think so, but it is impossible to prove something doesn't exist.

my argument has never been that it's impossible that unicorns exist. i'm stating that the theory that unicorns exist is unscientific.

However, if we set up some process, such as that of electricity, and declared that unicorns had their part in that process, then Occam's razor would be free to slit some wrists away.
hopefully no wrists, but that's a pretty good understanding of occam's razor.

similarly, the repressive theory is the simpler explanation for the same phenomena.

I disagree. It is equally plausible and equally unsubstansiated.

i'm not sure what you're arguing. are you saying, that because both theories are equally unsubstantiated, and both are equally plausible, they must both be equally simple?

I assert that more variables need to be taken into consideration in order to properly represent the actuality of the situation.

so you agreed that both theories can explain the same phenomena. and you state that the theory you assert to be true, requires more "variables" for its explanation.

That is not what I expressed. What I am implying is that more variables in the situation itself that we are attempting to explain need to be taken into consideration before we can determine which of the two explanations is more likely to actually represent the situation. I am not stating that one explanation requires more variables than the other to explain the phenomenon, but that we are not currently capable of taking enough aspects of the phenomenon into consideration to determine which explanation is more justifiable and which is more simple.

what aspects aren't we taking into account?

i just answered that quesion! the brain!

As I currently understand it, the phenomenon of the mind as it occurs, is not physical, even though it results from physical processes. It would seem to be more holographic in nature than anything. Alas, I'm not a physics master, so I could definitely be wrong.

no offense, but i think you're wrong. a non-physical theory of the mind might be worthwhile as speculation, but it's unscientific.
not that it means much, but i studied a lot of psych and neuropsych and computer models of the brain in school, and this is the foundation of my opinion.

it may simply be that certain parts of the brain are developed in infancy, and rely on certain environmental stimuli for their development, and the reason feral children act as you claim they do, would therefore be that the appropriate parts of the brain weren't developed.

If the need for companionship was an instinctual drive, I would make an uneducated guess that if the part of the brain responsible for it was never developed, then other instinctual drives such as the need to consume food would not be produced either. Perhaps?

interesting question. but what if the organism ate food their whole life but had no companions?

both theories explain the same phenomena, but repression explains with one less principle, therefore is the more scientific theory.

It doesn't explain the same phenomenon with one less principle. They are unique explanations that have no need to be relative to each other. Repression could exist without mental reprogramming as I described it and vice versa. Which is this extra principle that condemns mental reprogramming?

good. this question is at the heart of the occam's razor agrument.

does repression exist at least in some cases: yes or no?

IF NO what do you call this? --> do you agree that repression exists in some cases? for example, the person who clenches their fists, their teeth, while their face turns red, and shouts, "IM NOT ANGRY!" what would you call that?

IF YES (repression does exist): then what you are saying is that repression exists sometimes, and deprogramming exists sometimes. so here, the principles are:
*repression exists.
*deprogramming exists.

so this theory has two principles. now, contrast that with the theory that says "repression exists" and doesnt say anything else. how many principles does that theory have? does it have fewer principles than the deprogramming theory?

Equal explanations that cannot be validated outside of the mind experiencing the phenomenon itself. No just application of Occam's razor is available.
i'm curious what "experiencing of the phenemenon" are you talking about? if i feel sad, then i sit and meditate, and i no longer feel my sadness- that could be explained by either theory:
deprogramming: "either the mind deprogrammed the sadness or the mind repressed the sadness and so is no longer aware of it."
repression: "the mind repressed the sadness."

Shall we declare stalemate, then? There is no loss of honor in that.

*shakes your hand*

I'm pretty sure we could convert this thread into novel format, and thus get more people to actually read it.


*shakes yours*

i see no loss of honor in this. you're a bright, well-spoken individual, and that's true, regardless of who's right and who's wrong. for example, when i play go with someone, and i lose, there's no honor lost, because it's an intellectual pursuit, but one that neither party takes personally.

still, i disagree. i'm confident that my argument is airtight. i don't believe that you've addressed my argument for what it is. i think that if we discuss the sequence of the proof, and if you have any differences with it, we could sharpen our debating skills, and with luck, come a resolution of the debate itself.


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


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Offlinefireworks_godS
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: crunchytoast]
    #5085756 - 12/20/05 02:56 PM (15 years, 11 months ago)

Quote:

crunchytoast said:
my argument has never been that it's impossible that unicorns exist.  i'm stating that the theory that unicorns exist is unscientific.




Indeed, just as the concept of conscious mental reprogramming is unscientific, just as the concept of repression is unscientific! :grin: As science has no current means by which to validate either one....

Quote:


i'm not sure what you're arguing.  are you saying, that because both theories are equally unsubstantiated, and both are equally plausible, they must both be equally simple?




To a certain extent. The fact that they are both unsubstantiated implies that how simple or complex of an explanation they are cannot be known. I can design a model for some future technology and so you could you, and the fact that one of the two employs one less variable does not mean that it is more of a scientific explanation.

Quote:


so you agreed that both theories can explain the same phenomena. and you state that the theory you assert to be true, requires more "variables" for its explanation.




No, I have not stated that it requires more variables for its explanation. :wink:

Quote:


what aspects aren't we taking into account?




The manners in which the mind specifically functions in every unique situation. It is the thought processes as they occur that are the only evidence as to which explanation will actually represent the reality of the situation. Until these thought processes can be verified and these explanations demonstrated, we have no means by which to assume which explanation will be more scientific, as the most basic aspects of each explanation have not been scientificially verified.

It's like saying that the people on the planet orbiting Alpha Centauri use internal combustion engines in their car because the internal combustion engine has been proven to function and exist here on our planet. It certainly is more of a scientific viewpoint in such a regard that more aspects fit the terms of our current scientific understanding than other possible alternatives, but the fact that the existance of people on this planet has not been scientificially proven and that their existance precipitates the question of which engines their cars use does not make it any more of a scientific explanation than other alternatives.

Quote:


no offense, but i think you're wrong.  a non-physical theory of the mind might be worthwhile as speculation, but it's unscientific.
not that it means much, but i studied a lot of psych and neuropsych and computer models of the brain in school, and this is the foundation of my opinion.




I fully admit that I may quite possibly be wrong as I have no means but that of my direct experience of my mind to be able to form any opinions on the matter. From my perspective as I currently understand it, the experience of the mind as it presently occurs, even though it specifically has physical processes of the brain that carry out its functions, the awareness/presence of this mind does not exist within any physical space.

When you have a thought and you "hear" it, which realm is such an experience being had? Even if it is some quantam-based hologram that is purely based in physical reality, the nature of the experience is quite distinct from any other aspect of physical reality that we are aware of.

Quote:


interesting question.  but what if the organism ate food their whole life but had no companions?




I'm not quite sure what it is exactly that you are asking. Anyways, I recognize that the urge to procreate is an instinctual drive in a similar sense as that for food, and companionship is a dynamic, relative sense that relates to this procreation instinct as it is only through some form of companionship that we can satisfy such an urge.

This would explain why there is a huge degree of differences in how different people have different regards for companionship. If someone stays alone and satisfies this physical urge by their own means, it would seem to be entirely possible that they aren't just repressing a need for companionship. Companionship would simply be a means through which we would seek to satisfy such an urge, and we may or may not associate the concept of companionship with that urge itself.

Are we reaching common ground yet? 'Cause I think this relates to that which you mentioned concerning Amos.

The nature of such physical instincts, however, is such that even if we receive them, it is entirely possible to make a conscious decision to not act upon them even as one is aware of them (thus not repressing them). I'm not sure if the signal would continue to persist. I see no reason to think that the mechanism that associates the signal with some expected action to be taken to satisfy it could not be altered so that it doesn't seek to be released, thus dissolving it.

To break it down in order to demonstrate that repression doesn't operate with one less principle:

We agree that there are instinctual drives, etc.

We recognize that they will send signals, and that a certain response to that signal will satisfy it (or at least appear to temporarily, as we cannot determine if taking the action truly quiets the signal itself or if it causes ourselves to repress it for the time being :lol:).

The issue lies in what course of action is taken if we do not satisfy the mechanism that is creating the signal by the specific means it seeks, correct?

From this point, it is possible to thrust the signal as we perceive it out of our awareness so that, while it is still being sent to our mind, we do not experience it on a conscious level.

It is also possible to identify the signal and explore the nature of the mechanism in order to understand its nature and its methods. Just as repression is the action that can be taken at this point, it is also at this point possible to take and reprogram this mechanism in order to prevent the signal from being sent any longer, much like smashing an alarm clock will cancel its ability to send out pulses of sound in an annoying fashion. :lol:

Why is it that one operates with one less principle? It seems that there is one point along the progression of this situation that both options can be undergone as a single step. It seems they are on equal footing in regards to the principle issue. :wink:




Basically, the alarm clock exists at a certain point in time. It is set to go off at a certain time. When it reaches this time, it goes off! At this point, we have three options - focus on other things while the signal persists, push the button to temporarily make the signal cease, or destroy the alarm clock/turn off the alarm function on the alarm clock/change the time.

Obviously, if the alarm clock fufills a certain function that we consciously realize and intentionally seek, then its usage is beneficial (like the urge to eat when it is necessary to do so). If it has either set itself to a certain time automatically or by ourselves fumbling with it while we are half-asleep and in the dark, and the time it is set to is not beneficial to ourselves as we consciously choose, we should fully exercise our ability to alter/forego its use.

Sorry to go all metaphorical, but I think if one does not intrepret this analogy in an overly analytical fashion, that which I refer to by its use will be evident. :laugh:

Quote:


does repression exist at least in some cases: yes or no?




Possibly.

Quote:


IF NO what do you call this? --> do you agree that repression exists in some cases?  for example, the person who clenches their fists, their teeth, while their face turns red, and shouts, "IM NOT ANGRY!"  what would you call that?




I would call it what it is as I have the ability to analyze and intrepret. While this behavior that is being exhibited would lead some to believe that they are mentally repressing the very anger that they are presently acting upon, we have absolutely no manner by which we can verify and observe the specific thought processes which would clearly demonstrate whether or not repression is responsible.

Just as someone can exercise control over their behavior as such to ensure that other poker players will not be able to determine their mental reaction to the cards in their hand, it is entirely possible that such a display could be a bluff, and that, mentally, there is no emotional outrage and repression of that outrage. Actors are specifically employed in this area of expertise. :wink:

Quote:


IF YES (repression does exist): then what you are saying is that repression exists sometimes, and deprogramming exists sometimes.  so here, the principles are:
*repression exists.
*deprogramming exists.




It clearly isn't a scientific yes, but we will follow through with a hypothetical yes in order to continue with this line of thought. :smirk:

Quote:


so this theory has two principles.  now, contrast that with the theory that says "repression exists" and doesnt say anything else.  how many principles does that theory have?  does it have fewer principles than the deprogramming theory?




Which theory has two principles? The one that I have outlined? The theory that I have outlined does not relate to or involve that of repression in any manner whatsoever, and does not rely on the existance of repression in any way in order for itself to exist.

The fact that I recognize that repression "may" exist doesn't imply that it is an aspect of the explanation that I propose. This whole issue of principles and scientific verification of explanations as a result simply does not apply to this situation. It has been an interesting debate in that regard, but I am afraid to think that your entire assertion agansit my theory as being unscientific is baseless, and that it stands on equal, hypothetical ground as your own.

As whether or not either explanation applies lies contingent on the actual thought proccesses in question which we have no means to verify or observe, there is no means by which we can determine which explanation is more scientific. As repression is not a necessary aspect of my proposed explanation and does not require it or its existance in order for it to operate, the question of which explanation has the least amount of principles does not apply either. The fact that neither repression or that of conscious mental reprogramming can be proven to actually exist or represent the actual behavior and processes that they are proposed to represent implies that we have nothing here to discuss in such a manner. :grin:

Quote:


still, i disagree.  i'm confident that my argument is airtight.  i don't believe that you've addressed my argument for what it is.  i think that if we discuss the sequence of the proof, and if you have any differences with it, we could sharpen our debating skills, and with luck, come a resolution of the debate itself.




I hope that this reply more specifically addresses these points and effectively serves to work towards a resolution. We have certainly made progress amongst ourselves, even if it is simply as a spar which has sharpened our antlers.. urm, our debating skills. :grin:

You rule, man. :thumbup: We could start a new thread containing simply a list of all of the shit we neglected to take care of as a result of working within this thread. :lol: I must now excuse myself in order to go vacuum my entire living room floor by hand with a Shop Vac as my dog is a Norwegian Elkhound who sheds far too much hair for a normal vaccuum to be capable of withstanding (dude, they clog up and don't work in such a situation :lol:). I must be a champion in the ability to create huge sentences that cannot be categorized as being run-ons due to the technicality of my liberal use of prepositional phrases. :tongue:

: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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OfflineSneezingPenis
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Re: the root of suffering is desire [Re: fireworks_god]
    #5085785 - 1