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Old 05-16-2019, 07:06 PM
Grestarian is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Garage & Lab
Posts: 1,568
Sorry for jumping in late...

Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
I wasn't interested in heaven, or enlightenment, or whatever spiritual endgame.
Good, because those are just carrots for those mules who respond to carrots (or fresh raisins)...

Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
But I can't shake the sense that Buddhism is “correct” and anything I do besides it is “wrong”. Truthfully I don't really care much about the teachings or what they claim, but the fear of living a lie or being wrong is so great that it keeps drawing me back to this stuff even though deep down I don’t want to. It’s like I’m hostage in my own body.
...Just like Hell, Purgatory, having-to-take-another-turn-on-the-wheel, et cetera are sticks* for those mules who only respond to sticks (or fear of those sticks).

For those who fall in between, they are irrelevant. For those who aren't mules at all, they are mere metaphors.

Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
I just wanted to live life.
Now you're getting it.

Joseph Campbell, the esteemed scholar of classics, scripture, mythology, and folk tale was interviewed near the end of his life. He notes in one of the discussions in The Power Of Myth that another mostly-common message among religions is that they ultimately encourage adherents to live life and to strive to be the best [whatever role] they can be. Far from being existential, he notes that the point is essentially to say, "Yeah, there's a lovely reward if you're doing it right [and there might even be a penalty of some sort (if only you missed out) if you're not doing it right]. But if you're doing things just to avoid the penalty or if you're doing things just to reap the reward, you're going to end up disappointed. Live in accordance with [this religion's] principles and guidelines and restrictions because [this religion] has figured out that it's the morally right way to live -- the rules and restrictions are just corollaries to the basic principles.

Remember, entropy is one of the immutable laws of the universe; nothing lasts forever, and a human lifespan is just an eye-blink in the scheme of the universe (or a long eye-blink for the young created earth). However, while you're here, try to do something that will make the world better for those who follow; try not to make things worse for those who are sharing this brief amount of time with you. The rest is just little details for whichever faith you're following.


*I've always had more trouble with this side of organized religion. Basically, it tends to say "if you don't really 'get it' here's how horrible it will be" but (more nefariously) it also tends to be like the humans running the cult/religion saying [Imagine Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham pulling the mask off his face and saying...] "Join us....or DIE!"
(and maybe even suffer worse afterward).