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InvisibleUlysees
Power of Lard

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 5,060
The bitter and the sweet
    #676282 - 06/13/02 10:18 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

I was thinking about the pain of life today, and how it effects everyone who cares about anything. We are free to create, but there are so many boundaries, whether they are economic, political, self inflicted... Perhaps the art form or instrument that you desire has not even been invented yet. Would Picasso happily abandon his paintbrush in favor of a modern PC equipped with graphics software? What about Kurt Cobain? Is there something just around the corner that he would have found true comfort and happiness in? I'm sure there are better examples... In fact, one might be your uncle who worked on his fathers farm all his life, hating every day. Perhaps it's you.

Just what is the worst fate a person can suffer? If it is truly death then is there any point to life? No, death cannot be the worst fate a man can suffer, surely most agree on this. Why, then, is death the driving force of life? Because death conjures fear, and fear is infinitely more powerful than death, even though most fear is possible to overcome, and death -for the time being- is not. It stands to reason then that those who can overcome the most fears will excel at life, but such is not always the case. There are those among us who seem to laugh in the face of the economic fears, we see them reaping their rewards everyday. We all fail eventually. Life is a rigged poker game at best, and a circular snakes and ladders board at worst; there is no prize but to play.
The mating game has it's own independent set of challenges which induce different -though often innately similar- fears. We all know those who have that game mastered; they are indeed known as Players to our generation. Whether you are inspired intimidated or envious of those who throw their egos on the line in the clubs and grocery aisle, you must respect their ability to get what they want, and possibly marvel at their inability to value it.

We're all good at confronting certain fears, these skills usually develop or degenerate as you grow up, in times of adversity or great pleasure; which often coincide with eachother. So then, what is the greatest skill of all? Unless you're able to control the realm outside your own mind, a good knowledge of your mind itself if the strongest asset anyone could possibly possess. Put into action, the ability to control the realm outside your mind would -in all likelihood- have horrendous consequences.

With my use of Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide, I would like to think I've been able to look inside and examine that which I call "me". Could I have done it without a chemical aid? Of course. Let me just say that I haven't been doing a very good job though... Perhaps this knowledge is no more than a forged badge I've hung out in an attempt to bring higher meaning to my "research". I confess, that is one of my fears. I have little problem accepting this fear, and will continue to confront it with further use of DXM; you see, of course, the circular course I plot myself. This is of little concern, and it will remain of little concern until the only reason I continue is to find out if continuing is in vain... Here's to the hope that I -if need be- am courageous enough to admit that I am a fool, and perhaps cease to be one in the process.

The beggar is no more a coward than the prince, nor perhaps even the Devil than God. No, we all have our strengths and weaknesses, it's up to the game to decide where our snakes, ladders and in turn, we- fall.

This is the best I can do.


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InvisibleBoppity604
Stranger
Registered: 10/19/01
Posts: 1,056
Re: The bitter and the sweet [Re: Ulysees]
    #676299 - 06/13/02 10:24 AM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Remember...all of the afflictive emotions we "feel" are products of the mind's ignorance. Before any experience is labeled as "pain" it is inherently empty. Be mindful of the process of how your mind, your misconstrued sense of "I", labels all phenomena. Peace is always around us. It is our ignorance that keeps us from seeing it. I highly recommend you read the following two books...they've changed my life for the better:

The Heart of The Buddha's Teaching: Transforming Suffering into Peace, Joy and Liberation - by Thich Nhat Hanh

and

How To Meditate: A Practical Guide - by Kathleen McDonald

You don't need to be a Buddhist to benefit from the teachings. Buddhism is not religion...it's mental discipline which can be applied to any faith or any non-faith.

Best wishes on your journies of discovery.

Love & Light,

Boppity



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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: The bitter and the sweet [Re: Boppity604]
    #676577 - 06/13/02 01:30 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Remember...all of the afflictive emotions we "feel" are products of the mind's ignorance. Before any experience is labeled as "pain" it is inherently empty.

Sounds good in theory, but have to disagree. Having your $200,000 stock option evaporate to nothing days before it's execution might fit that type of mental ignorance and suffering of which you speak.

But I have been present on 3 different occassions when mothers were informed of the the death of their child (all females, 2 to murder and 1 to a legal drug OD). This is the most extreme pain possible and is very primal. All theories, meditation, spirituality, emotional training, etc. go right out the window. Not all pain is misperceiving reality, though most is thwarted craving. Some things are universal and hurt no matter how you view them.

One of those mothers was my beloved. To date I have never recovered from her turning away from me immediately after the funeral (we were talking marriage a few months before). After a long self-imposed celibacy, I took to dating and intimacy again, but I feel I will never escape the pain of separation from my "soulmate". A major part of me died, when a major part of her died.


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



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleBoppity604
Stranger
Registered: 10/19/01
Posts: 1,056
Re: The bitter and the sweet [Re: Swami]
    #676805 - 06/13/02 03:55 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

>>All theories, meditation, spirituality, emotional training, etc. go right out the window.

No they don't.

>>Some things are universal and hurt no matter how you view them.

Buddhism does not deny the existence of suffering. Buddhism acknowledges suffering. It also acknowledges that all our suffering is because of our own minds and we can cessate that suffering. The Buddha himself is quoted as saying on multiple occasions, "I teach only suffering and the transformation of suffering."

To quote Thich Nhat Hanh, "Without suffering, you cannot grow. Without suffering you cannot get the peace and joy you deserve. Do not run away from your suffering; embrace it. When life deals you pain in your heart, you can still enjoy the many wonders of life. When you have suffered, you know how to appreciate the elements of paradise that are already in your life. Do not ignore or deny your suffering but do not forget to enjoy the wonders of life as well."

Money is not happiness. Loss of money is not happiness either. Waking up in the morning is happiness. Knowing you are loved is happiness. Grief at death is only our attachment to those that we've lost. It doesn't mean it's not real...of course it's real! But death is not the end to consciousness or continuity of mind. And the pain we feel at such a seperation is our own creation.

I don't mean to take away from the pain you expressed in your response. It's because of pain like that that you can embrace your suffering and transform it into joy. All things that are constructed/causal must eventually disapate. All that lives must die. This is the impermanence of all things. To become attached to anything...a chair, an emotion, a bank account, a thought that you'll live forever and be healthy forever is suffering. To accept impermanence liberates you to enjoy the beauty of every moment you have. Change is suffering. To accept that change is part of life liberates us from the opposition to change.

I lost my job last week due to lay offs. I've had to sell all my DJ gear in order to make sure I have enough money for the rest of this month's bills and until my unemployment check will arrive. But I am just as happy and content today as I was three weeks ago while I still had my gear, while I still had my job. This is just life. I don't sit here and wallow in self-pity or regret. I simply go forward and look for another job and can re-aquire my gear when I can afford to. My possessions mean nothing. A tornado could come tomorrow and take it all...I would be upset naturally, but I won't care because it's all impermanent. I can rebuild and I can re-aquire possessions. I have happiness. I have life and a love for all that live too. That's all I could ever ask for. You can call me names or criticize me all you want for my beliefs, that's fine. I respect all opinions and paths...I am no better than anyone else in the world. But I can truly say I am at peace with myself and the world. That is the greatest joy I've ever known. I hope everyone can one day know it as well.

Love & Light,

Boppity



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InvisibleSwami
Eggshell Walker

Registered: 01/19/00
Posts: 15,413
Loc: In the hen house
Re: The bitter and the sweet [Re: Boppity604]
    #676928 - 06/13/02 05:09 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

Yeah, but when they come an take your 'puter and connection to the shroomery, that will be a whole 'nother story...

Seriously though, it was a good post. My whole point was that some pain is self-created and some is hard-wired into our biology.


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



The proof is in the pudding.


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InvisibleUlysees
Power of Lard

Registered: 10/06/01
Posts: 5,060
Re: The bitter and the sweet [Re: Swami]
    #676968 - 06/13/02 05:25 PM (14 years, 9 months ago)

It was a good post. I was going to side with you Swami, but Boppity came through. hehe

You make a good point too. As long as we're biological creatures, and perhaps even when we're not, there are some things that will likely never change drastically.


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General Interest >> Philosophy, Sociology & Psychology

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