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  #101  
Old 05-16-2019, 06:47 AM
Snake_Plissken is offline
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Here's what you do...


You go to Yosemite National Park. Hike the Valley Trail. Stand at the base of Half Dome and El Capitan. Try not to do the entire hike with your mouth hanging open (it's in involuntary reflex). That's all you need to do. Walk and look. You'll realize THIS is what's real. THIS is what's permanent. If you can find peace in this beautiful valley then there's no peace for you to be had.
  #102  
Old 05-16-2019, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
Unfortunately someone tried that game analogy with me when I struggled briefly with solipsism but it only made things worse. Seeing it as a game just trivializes everything I do. It would still mean that I am living a lie as well. I guess that’s the part that gets me the most, that I am not correct and true and living a lie and all that I thought I knew wasn’t even right.
Out of curiosity, what makes a game trivial, in your estimation?

In my estimation a game is trivial because it doesn't have consequences in the larger world I interact with. Getting a ton of in-game gold doesn't pay for lunch, and murdering a bunch of virtual people doesn't get me arrested in real life - and getting arrested in-game can be escaped with a push of a button. That's what makes games trivial - it's that they're inconsequential. (Literally speaking.)

If you can't escape a game, then you would be forced to live with the consequences of your actions in the game. It would cease to be inconsequential. (Literally speaking.)

I posit that it would cease to be trivial as well.
  #103  
Old 05-16-2019, 07:06 PM
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Sorry for jumping in late...

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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)...

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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.


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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.

Namaste!

--G!
*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).
  #104  
Old 05-16-2019, 08:46 PM
am77494 is online now
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IMO for understanding Eastern religions, the first step is to let go of Descartes- I think therefore I am.

It’s a search to find yourself when you are not thinking and be in the moment.

Take the activity that brings you most joy. Think back and see what you were thinking during that activity. Chances are you were not thinking and it is this state of bliss that eastern religions want you to experience .
  #105  
Old 05-16-2019, 08:57 PM
am77494 is online now
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Originally Posted by Grestarian View Post
Namaste!

--G!
*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!"[/COLOR] (and maybe even suffer worse afterward).
Namaste to you too.

Not all organized religion is like that. Several people in Hinduism believe that the soul or consciousness is something that doesn’t feel. Feelings arise from the physical existence and both hell and heaven are meaningless to the soul.
  #106  
Old 05-17-2019, 09:30 AM
Machinaforce is offline
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Originally Posted by The Other Waldo Pepper View Post
Please elaborate: how can you so easily dismiss a magic sword? Because, see, you explained that your problem with stuff like “this world is an illusion” or “nothing that changes or appears is real” is just — as you put it — the fact that someone said it, which drives you mad. So how can you dismiss stuff like “magic swords are real” given, once again, the fact that someone said it?

Just lay out for me how you manage to get this right on some occasions, and maybe that’ll help you figure out how to can get it right on other occasions.



Uh, yes? “As for the nature of reality”, dot dot dot, what?

Here I am, in a world of appearances — where there seem to be walls that it seems I can’t ghost through, but there seem to be doors and I seem able to open them; and that seems to prove useful when I seem to feel hunger, because I seem to make my way to what seems to be food, and it seems to taste delicious sure as it seems to work on what seems to be pain in my belly — and if someone told me all of that was an illusion, then, dot dot dot, what?

Will that info let me ghost through the walls, which aren’t really there? Will I learn of real doors I can really open, possibly to get real food that’ll really taste delicious? Or will I not really need food then, as I’ll know the seeming pain in my belly isn’t real? What do you think really happens if all of our experiences here are, for the sake of argument, revealed to be illusory appearances?
Well because the magic sword argument can’t be remotely true, which makes it easy to dismiss even if someone just said it to me.

Someone saying this world is an illusion is far scarier than a magic sword and seems like it might be true since you have many “advanced practitioners” say that they have realized this through practice. It just seems more believable in a sense, even though it is more like something rooted in personal experience. Even so it makes it harder to say no to them because...I don’t know. Because Buddhism just seems like it knows better and is more scientific than other religions.
  #107  
Old 05-17-2019, 09:31 AM
Machinaforce is offline
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Namaste to you too.

Not all organized religion is like that. Several people in Hinduism believe that the soul or consciousness is something that doesn’t feel. Feelings arise from the physical existence and both hell and heaven are meaningless to the soul.
Hinduism seems easier to reject due to them claiming a soul. Well much of the spiritual teaches seem rooted in personal experience, except now we know that such experiences are the product of brain activity.
  #108  
Old 05-17-2019, 12:23 PM
The Other Waldo Pepper is online now
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Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
Well because the magic sword argument can’t be remotely true, which makes it easy to dismiss even if someone just said it to me.

Someone saying this world is an illusion is far scarier than a magic sword and seems like it might be true since you have many “advanced practitioners” say that they have realized this through practice. It just seems more believable in a sense, even though it is more like something rooted in personal experience. Even so it makes it harder to say no to them because...I don’t know. Because Buddhism just seems like it knows better and is more scientific than other religions.
Oh, okay. Well, first off, if I tell you that I’m an “advanced practitioner” who realized through practice that his sword is magic — and I line up a couple of other folks who patiently explain to you that they’re “advanced practitioners” who also practiced and realized it was true — will there come a point where you stop dismissing it?

But, more importantly: the rest of what you copy-and-pasted? The bit with the walls and the doors and the food? What’s your reply there? If I ‘realize’ that all of this is illusion, will I still seem to hunger until I seem to eat food that seems delicious? Will walls that now seem to block me still seem to block me then, unless I keep seeming to use what seem to be doors in this here illusion?

Last edited by The Other Waldo Pepper; 05-17-2019 at 12:25 PM.
  #109  
Old 05-17-2019, 05:25 PM
begbert2 is offline
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Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
Well because the magic sword argument can’t be remotely true, which makes it easy to dismiss even if someone just said it to me.

Someone saying this world is an illusion is far scarier than a magic sword and seems like it might be true since you have many “advanced practitioners” say that they have realized this through practice. It just seems more believable in a sense, even though it is more like something rooted in personal experience. Even so it makes it harder to say no to them because...I don’t know. Because Buddhism just seems like it knows better and is more scientific than other religions.
There is absolutely no part of "reality is not real" that is scientific, and saying so it a gross misrepresentation of science. Because science is the sort of thing that pokes something, watches it move, then pokes it seven hundred times more just to be sure before saying "It moves when poked; record it in the 'things that move when poked' book." Telling science that it's not 'real' would result in science looking uncomprehendingly at you, saying "It moves when it's poked, dude," and then wandering off to poke other things.

Note: you should follow science's example: reality moves when poked, so it's worth paying attention to and engaging in and poking. Simple as that.

As for the rest of it, it looks like you're making some sort of odd "There are too many of them for them to be wrong" argument, possibly with a "they wear robes and therefore can't be wrong" corollary. The odd thing about this argument is that there are lot and lots and lots of people who believe in alien abduction, Hinduism, antivax, and Trump. Many of them even wear robes! Yet you don't seem to think they're right just because they're numerous and don't make sense. Why choose Buddhism as the one to believe? Just because it's scarier? I notice that you mentioned that specifically.
  #110  
Old 05-17-2019, 06:42 PM
Machinaforce is offline
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Originally Posted by begbert2 View Post
There is absolutely no part of "reality is not real" that is scientific, and saying so it a gross misrepresentation of science. Because science is the sort of thing that pokes something, watches it move, then pokes it seven hundred times more just to be sure before saying "It moves when poked; record it in the 'things that move when poked' book." Telling science that it's not 'real' would result in science looking uncomprehendingly at you, saying "It moves when it's poked, dude," and then wandering off to poke other things.

Note: you should follow science's example: reality moves when poked, so it's worth paying attention to and engaging in and poking. Simple as that.

As for the rest of it, it looks like you're making some sort of odd "There are too many of them for them to be wrong" argument, possibly with a "they wear robes and therefore can't be wrong" corollary. The odd thing about this argument is that there are lot and lots and lots of people who believe in alien abduction, Hinduism, antivax, and Trump. Many of them even wear robes! Yet you don't seem to think they're right just because they're numerous and don't make sense. Why choose Buddhism as the one to believe? Just because it's scarier? I notice that you mentioned that specifically.
Buddhism mostly scared me with much of its stuff. But looking at it all now, I’m guessing the religion was rooted in one mans personal experience and his interpretation of it.
  #111  
Old 05-17-2019, 06:45 PM
begbert2 is offline
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Buddhism mostly scared me with much of its stuff. But looking at it all now, I’m guessing the religion was rooted in one mans personal experience and his interpretation of it.
So what gives this one man so much authority, aside from the fact he's nonsensical and scary? I mean, I'm one man. I can one man as well as the next one man. I even have a beard!


I can be scary too, if it helps.
  #112  
Old 05-19-2019, 12:50 PM
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IMO for understanding Eastern religions, the first step is to let go of Descartes- I think therefore I am.

It’s a search to find yourself when you are not thinking and be in the moment.

Take the activity that brings you most joy. Think back and see what you were thinking during that activity. Chances are you were not thinking and it is this state of bliss that eastern religions want you to experience .
Actually that’s not true. You are thinking in those states but it’s too fast to be aware of.
  #113  
Old 05-22-2019, 01:46 PM
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I haven't read much from the Buddhist scriptures, but what tiny amount I've read from Gautama strikes me as coming from a place of emotional pain & fear of emotional pain. My impression was that Theravada Buddhism was trying to build a religion out of some ancient Hindu's personal gloominess.
  #114  
Old 05-22-2019, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Machinaforce View Post
I wasn’t interested in heaven, or enlightenment, or whatever spiritual endgame. I just wanted to live life. 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.
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Originally Posted by kanicbird View Post
That sounds very much like a 'calling', it has it's purpose, though one can resist, but the resistance to a calling is what is living the lie.

I would suggest seeking different aspects of Buddhism, there are many variations and many aspects of it to explore. The parts you have already explored don't hold your attention. It may be just part of your own life which is trying to change.
It sounds to me like someone who was raised in a religion he finds unsatisfying and foolish but who has been conditioned to respond to it as 'truth.' Losing your religion hurts. It can hurt for years. But sometimes you don't have a choice. You feel that something's wrong because something is.

Certainly there are many strands of Buddhism. Maybe OP can get something out of a different strand. But if you find Theravada incomplete and disgusting, you're not wrong. You're just recognizing something that others (like your parents) aren't. And honestly, if it's causing this much anguish, getting away from Buddha altogether for a while might help.
  #115  
Old 05-22-2019, 04:06 PM
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Actually that’s not true. You are thinking in those states but it’s too fast to be aware of.
"Bliss" is not a desired goal of Buddhist meditation, nor is meditation meant to provide an escape from reality in Buddhism any more than drugs would be.

As for statements like "the world is an illusion", this is clearly a complex statement (which makes no claims concerning real "reality") which is fuel for general philosophical discussion well beyond the context of Buddhism, but sentences like this are meant to make one think, not to scare one. Or perhaps freaky ancient philosophers are intrinsically scary....

Last edited by DPRK; 05-22-2019 at 04:08 PM.
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