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Arkx6

Childhood, depression and budhism

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Growing up i felt life was something you overcame or escaped because of the things i read. These thoughts were probably fuelled by depression from my teenage years to my early 30's.

 

I felt growing up from reading buddhist things that life was something to escape from...the wheel of samsara. 

 

I feel like such philosophy marred the joy of life for me or maybe this was simply my depression affecting how i interpreted buddhism. 

 

What is your impression of buddhism and the teachings on samsara (the wheel of life)?

 

Am i mistaken in seeing the teachings on samsara as being depressive?

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2 hours ago, Arkx6 said:

Am i mistaken in seeing the teachings on samsara as being depressive?

You can learn to see them as full of hope. They say that there is a way out of suffering, if you are willing to practice. 

 

Correct practice can help you change the way you think, the way your physiology reacts, and the way you behave. 

Sounds very similar to psychotherapy, doesn't it? 

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4 hours ago, Arkx6 said:

Growing up i felt life was something you overcame or escaped because of the things i read. These thoughts were probably fuelled by depression from my teenage years to my early 30's.

 

I felt growing up from reading buddhist things that life was something to escape from...the wheel of samsara. 

 

I feel like such philosophy marred the joy of life for me or maybe this was simply my depression affecting how i interpreted buddhism. 

 

What is your impression of buddhism and the teachings on samsara (the wheel of life)?

 

Am i mistaken in seeing the teachings on samsara as being depressive?

I hope this isnt too much of a digression ,, but , 

I could talk to my dog , all day and he would stare at me blankly , making no associations. UNLESS I said the word cookie ?, or walkies?

or anything that sounded like those. If we have a strong reaction to words or ideas , its because we are making certain kinds of associations ,, that shouldn't be news to you , but seeing as how your reactions are something of a bummer, the negative associations you are making, are specific to you , and while other people may be fine with a certain set of ideas , it may just be a long row to hoe for you to get to a point where the same things do not bum you out ,such as they do. 

Nobody wants you to be bummed out ,although sometimes you DO have to get to the far side before things start looking different.

If you've worked at it a while , well , maybe the whole samsara thing isn't your cup of tea, or maybe  it just  has been relayed to you in a way which isn't turning the engine over. 

Give a listen to someone who doesn't bum you out and ignore everyone else, if this is what you want to stick with. 

It isn't really much my cup of tea , but ,for other reasons than the samsara idea , which doesn't bother me at all,, yet some of the Buddhist canon strikes me as particularly well considered ,despite all that.  

 

Edited by Stosh

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19 hours ago, Arkx6 said:

Am i mistaken in seeing the teachings on samsara as being depressive?

I think they're designed to evoke renunciation, compassion and sadness at the same time which is balanced by teachings on not becoming discouraged or depressed - there is a way out.

 

I find the news and the nihilistic view of life as 'work, consume, die' depressing.

 

 

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On 5/9/2018 at 6:09 PM, Arkx6 said:

(...) 

 

What is your impression of buddhism and the teachings on samsara (the wheel of life)?

 

Am i mistaken in seeing the teachings on samsara as being depressive?

 

I wasted many years of my life with Buddhism and I've lost many great opportunities that life offered to me because of putting "spirituality" in the place of the most important thing in my life. 

 

Buddhism is based on the dogmatic belief in rebirth which has NO empirical basis and CANNOT be proven apart from the hallucinations of certain individuals who claim to remember stuff. 

 

You turn to spirituality because you seek the tools to get answers... and you're given 2000 yrs old BS. 

 

Many people don't take spirituality as something important, but just as a hobby. And they are perfectly fine with Buddhism because it has very little impact on their lives. 

 

The teachings of samsara are not depressive, but they are a key element in a set of teachings that promotes escapism from reality IN ORDER TO AVOID SUFFERING which is philosophically conceived as being eternal. 

 

It turns out that if you avoid suffering and desire, you suppress  your human nature itself just because some ignorant philosophers said that you're going to reincarnate. 

 

Embrace life, cultivate desire, strive to achieve goals, don't waste your precious time with meditation and GIVE a purpose to your life. 

Edited by Cheshire Cat
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On 9/5/2018 at 5:09 PM, Arkx6 said:

Growing up i felt life was something you overcame or escaped because of the things i read. These thoughts were probably fuelled by depression from my teenage years to my early 30's.

 

I felt growing up from reading buddhist things that life was something to escape from...the wheel of samsara. 

 

I feel like such philosophy marred the joy of life for me or maybe this was simply my depression affecting how i interpreted buddhism. 

 

What is your impression of buddhism and the teachings on samsara (the wheel of life)?

 

Am i mistaken in seeing the teachings on samsara as being depressive?

 

 

Quite a lot of Buddhism in the West (and possibly in the East also) is misunderstood and badly taught.  Even some schools of Buddhism are taken over by a kind of negative dualism about life.  'Life is suffering' so try to avoid it or run away from it.  Samsara is actually the very badly construed view of life which makes you suffer in the first place.  That of chasing desires and false views of things.  Waking up from this to see things as they really are makes you happy and contented - and very positive about life - having seen through the things that previously made you miserable and depressed.

 

 

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I spent the majority of my life working, striving to achieve goals, immersed in the material world, indulging desires... and got progressively more disillusioned. Good job, good family, lots of stuff, and yet lots of anger, burnout from the job, no matter how many goals I achieved or stuff I accumulated, I'd feel good for a while then back to the same cycle. 

 

I engaged deeply in Daoist practices and internal martial arts for well over a decade with little change in that pattern. Then I stumbled into a variant of Buddhism (Yungdrung Bön) and saw through that cycle of wasted time, energy, and frustration. Engaging in Bön Buddhist practice has changed my life for the better. I've rediscovered passion in my work. My family relationships are far more open, meaningful, and satisfying. I'm far MORE engaged in life because I'm not overly attached or dependent on the outcomes, good or bad. Things come and go and it's beautiful to be a part of it all. The more I feel I don't need any of it to make me happy, the fulfilled I feel because it is all there and available to me. It's hard to do justice in words, it sounds a bit contradictory.

 

Buddhism is certainly not a panacea and it's not for everyone. You either get it and feel benefit from the practices or you don't. It's not something to take as a theory or a philosophy. It was never meant to be that. It was meant to be practical advice for people feeling dissatisfaction with their lives. There is no need to believe anything about it at all. If you have interest and are feeling that life is not what you want it to be, engage in personal practice for a time and see if it works for you. If it doesn't improve your life, move on. The teachings on samsara are depressing because they are pointing to patterns in our lives that are dysfunctional and unproductive in terms of leading a meaningful life. That can be depressing to look at. Don't get too bogged down in the theory... put the practices into play and see what happens. Otherwise it's probably better to leave it be and move on.

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46 minutes ago, steve said:

I spent the majority of my life working, striving to achieve goals, immersed in the material world, indulging desires... and got progressively more disillusioned. Good job, good family, lots of stuff, and yet lots of anger, burnout from the job, no matter how many goals I achieved or stuff I accumulated, I'd feel good for a while then back to the same cycle. 

 

I engaged deeply in Daoist practices and internal martial arts for well over a decade with little change in that pattern. Then I stumbled into a variant of Buddhism (Yungdrung Bön) and saw through that cycle of wasted time, energy, and frustration. Engaging in Bön Buddhist practice has changed my life for the better. I've rediscovered passion in my work. My family relationships are far more open, meaningful, and satisfying. I'm far MORE engaged in life because I'm not overly attached or dependent on the outcomes, good or bad. Things come and go and it's beautiful to be a part of it all. The more I feel I don't need any of it to make me happy, the fulfilled I feel because it is all there and available to me. It's hard to do justice in words, it sounds a bit contradictory.

 

Buddhism is certainly not a panacea and it's not for everyone. You either get it and feel benefit from the practices or you don't. It's not something to take as a theory or a philosophy. It was never meant to be that. It was meant to be practical advice for people feeling dissatisfaction with their lives. There is no need to believe anything about it at all. If you have interest and are feeling that life is not what you want it to be, engage in personal practice for a time and see if it works for you. If it doesn't improve your life, move on. The teachings on samsara are depressing because they are pointing to patterns in our lives that are dysfunctional and unproductive in terms of leading a meaningful life. That can be depressing to look at. Don't get too bogged down in the theory... put the practices into play and see what happens. Otherwise it's probably better to leave it be and move on.

 

 

100 likes (if I could)!

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On 06/09/2018 at 7:24 PM, Cheshire Cat said:

 

I wasted many years of my life with Buddhism and I've lost many great opportunities that life offered to me because of putting "spirituality" in the place of the most important thing in my life. 

 

Buddhism is based on the dogmatic belief in rebirth which has NO empirical basis and CANNOT be proven apart from the hallucinations of certain individuals who claim to remember stuff. 

 

You turn to spirituality because you seek the tools to get answers... and you're given 2000 yrs old BS. 

 

Many people don't take spirituality as something important, but just as a hobby. And they are perfectly fine with Buddhism because it has very little impact on their lives. 

 

The teachings of samsara are not depressive, but they are a key element in a set of teachings that promotes escapism from reality IN ORDER TO AVOID SUFFERING which is philosophically conceived as being eternal. 

 

It turns out that if you avoid suffering and desire, you suppress  your human nature itself just because some ignorant philosophers said that you're going to reincarnate. 

 

Embrace life, cultivate desire, strive to achieve goals, don't waste your precious time with meditation and GIVE a purpose to your life.

 

 

You remind me of a friend who spent 15 years as a Theravadan Buddhist monk and who eventually came to  feel that the lifestyle was that of a parasite upon the surrounding productive society.

What finally finished it for him was that not only did he have no success with meditation himself but that despite this the abbot tasked  him to teach meditation to the monastery's lay visitors.

It's therefore perhaps important to realise that many people are free from suffering without having to resort to concentration meditation practices (such as anapanasati and the associated exploration of the Jhanas).

It's also important to realise that conversely there are many people who find great solace in Buddhism and in other religious belief systems and practices, some of which are highly effective particularly if (as Steve has suggested) they are divorced from any associated religious belief system. A good example of this would be the practice of lucid dreaming, which requires no religious trappings in order to be extremely useful and effective for some people.

As far as reincarnation is concerned, that seems to be one of the major misunderstandings about what the Buddha seems to have said about that theory[1].

 

‚ėģÔłŹ

 

Footnotes

[1]¬†en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_unanswered_questions¬†‚ėģÔłŹ

 

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On 7/9/2018 at 1:12 PM, steve said:

[...]

I'm far MORE engaged in life because I'm not overly attached or dependent on the outcomes, good or bad. Things come and go and it's beautiful to be a part of it all. The more I feel I don't need any of it to make me happy, the fulfilled I feel because it is all there and available to me. It's hard to do justice in words, it sounds a bit contradictory.

[...]

 

It sounds good on words and I'm glad that you don't need any of the beautiful things that you deserve in life in order to be happy and content, but I'm pretty sure that you won't easily give away any of those very things to the first stranger who comes knocking at your door.

You ponder that for sure you're not overly attached nor dependent upon the outcomes and it feels good to think like that, but in my opinion the truth is that -at most- you're just more grateful for what you already have and obviously not willing to renounce anything in particular.

 

It's a sound state of mind, but you don't really need buddhism to achieve that: it' enough to travel and see the world outside of the U.S.

 

Quote

 

Buddhism is certainly not a panacea and it's not for everyone. You either get it and feel benefit from the practices or you don't. It's not something to take as a theory or a philosophy. It was never meant to be that. It was meant to be practical advice for people feeling dissatisfaction with their lives. There is no need to believe anything about it at all.

[...]

 

In my opinion, this is the narrative of the 5% engagement buddhism that it's widely spread in the West. It's not bad. It might be beneficial and it's a nice way to meet good hearted people.

A buddhist practice is considered to be no different, nor necessarily better than a rebirthing session, a reiki healing or a weekend seminar to become a fully functional shaman. Of course, this is not a real buddhist view.

As long as buddhism stands in a well defined margin of consideration in your life without threatening your other hobbies and passions, it'll make for a wonderful recreative activity.

 

But the truth is that you absolutely need to believe in rebirth just for the basic teachings to make sense and if you're inclined to spirituality, there's the risk that you fully embrace buddhism and the good things won't be there anymore.

 

 

 

22 hours ago, Daemon said:

 

You remind me of a friend who spent 15 years as a Theravadan Buddhist monk and who eventually came to  feel that the lifestyle was that of a parasite upon the surrounding productive society.

What finally finished it for him was that not only did he have no success with meditation himself but that despite this the abbot tasked  him to teach meditation to the monastery's lay visitors.

It's therefore perhaps important to realise that many people are free from suffering without having to resort to concentration meditation practices (such as anapanasati and the associated exploration of the Jhanas).

 

I'm familiar with many of your friend's ideas, but my conclusions are different.

 

It's true that we all suffer and it's true that it's possible to strongly embrace buddhism with meditation practices to get rid of suffering (or most of it).

There are strong evidences that suffering is an integral component of the beautiful condition of being alive and the consequences are that if you get rid of suffering, you necessarily get rid of the experience of living fully.

I feel that it's much more worthy to live than not to live.

 

Quote

It's also important to realise that conversely there are many people who find great solace in Buddhism and in other religious belief systems and practices, some of which are highly effective particularly if (as Steve has suggested) they are divorced from any associated religious belief system. A good example of this would be the practice of lucid dreaming, which requires no religious trappings in order to be extremely useful and effective for some people.

[...]

 

 

I agree that a westernized superficial practice of buddhism might be a very nice thing to do, but I should object about the extreme usefulness of doing it.

Edited by Cheshire Cat

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The buddha seems to of said things that are really great about concentrating on the now, or if things dont make sense to you to disregard them etc. Whenever ive looked into his teachings ive just gotten bogged down in the theory and lost any benefit so ty Steve. 

 

I do tend to intellectualise things quite a bit instead of making them practical.

 

ty all for your replies it makes for interesting reading :)

 

 

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7 hours ago, Cheshire Cat said:

 

It sounds good on words and I'm glad that you don't need any of the beautiful things that you deserve in life in order to be happy and content, but I'm pretty sure that you won't easily give away any of those very things to the first stranger who comes knocking at your door.

You ponder that for sure you're not overly attached nor dependent upon the outcomes and it feels good to think like that, but in my opinion the truth is that -at most- you're just more grateful for what you already have and obviously not willing to renounce anything in particular.

 

It's a sound state of mind, but you don't really need buddhism to achieve that: it' enough to travel and see the world outside of the U.S.

 

 

In my opinion, this is the narrative of the 5% engagement buddhism that it's widely spread in the West. It's not bad. It might be beneficial and it's a nice way to meet good hearted people.

A buddhist practice is considered to be no different, nor necessarily better than a rebirthing session, a reiki healing or a weekend seminar to become a fully functional shaman. Of course, this is not a real buddhist view.

As long as buddhism stands in a well defined margin of consideration in your life without threatening your other hobbies and passions, it'll make for a wonderful recreative activity.

 

But the truth is that you absolutely need to believe in rebirth just for the basic teachings to make sense and if you're inclined to spirituality, there's the risk that you fully embrace buddhism and the good things won't be there anymore.

 

 

 

 

I'm familiar with many of your friend's ideas, but my conclusions are different.

 

It's true that we all suffer and it's true that it's possible to strongly embrace buddhism with meditation practices to get rid of suffering (or most of it).

There are strong evidences that suffering is an integral component of the beautiful condition of being alive and the consequences are that if you get rid of suffering, you necessarily get rid of the experience of living fully.

I feel that it's much more worthy to live than not to live.

 

 

I agree that a westernized superficial practice of buddhism might be a very nice thing to do, but I should object about the extreme usefulness of doing it.

 

It's unfortunate you wasted so much of your time doing something that didn't work for you.

My experience has been different.

 

 

 

 

Edited by steve

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5 hours ago, Arkx6 said:

The buddha seems to of said things that are really great about concentrating on the now, or if things dont make sense to you to disregard them etc. Whenever ive looked into his teachings ive just gotten bogged down in the theory and lost any benefit so ty Steve. 

 

I do tend to intellectualise things quite a bit instead of making them practical.

 

ty all for your replies it makes for interesting reading :)

 

 

 

I was lucky in both my Daoist and Buddhist experience to have stumbled upon teachers who emphasized practice over theory.

An intellectual approach works for some but, like you, I tend to be too much in my head so practice is precisely what I needed.

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6 hours ago, Cheshire Cat said:

I agree that a westernized superficial practice of buddhism might be a very nice thing to do, but I should object about the extreme usefulness of doing it.

 

First of all, thank you Arkx6 for starting the thread. I was hoping for interesting discussions for this weekend :) 

Some very interesting points are being discussed here which gives me food for thought.

Cheshire Cat, your participation reminded me of a thread where you shared your disappointment with qigong...

I sincerely thank you for having the courage to let us know about your True thoughts and feelings and wonder about that corner in you still full of that stubborn hope...

Edited by oak

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On 09/09/2018 at 10:39 AM, Cheshire Cat said:

 

It sounds good on words and I'm glad that you don't need any of the beautiful things that you deserve in life in order to be happy and content, but I'm pretty sure that you won't easily give away any of those very things to the first stranger who comes knocking at your door.

You ponder that for sure you're not overly attached nor dependent upon the outcomes and it feels good to think like that, but in my opinion the truth is that -at most- you're just more grateful for what you already have and obviously not willing to renounce anything in particular.

 

It's a sound state of mind, but you don't really need buddhism to achieve that: it' enough to travel and see the world outside of the U.S.

 

In my opinion, this is the narrative of the 5% engagement buddhism that it's widely spread in the West. It's not bad. It might be beneficial and it's a nice way to meet good hearted people.

A buddhist practice is considered to be no different, nor necessarily better than a rebirthing session, a reiki healing or a weekend seminar to become a fully functional shaman. Of course, this is not a real buddhist view.

As long as buddhism stands in a well defined margin of consideration in your life without threatening your other hobbies and passions, it'll make for a wonderful recreative activity.

 

But the truth is that you absolutely need to believe in rebirth just for the basic teachings to make sense and if you're inclined to spirituality, there's the risk that you fully embrace buddhism and the good things won't be there anymore.

 

I'm familiar with many of your friend's ideas, but my conclusions are different.

 

It's true that we all suffer and it's true that it's possible to strongly embrace buddhism with meditation practices to get rid of suffering (or most of it).

There are strong evidences that suffering is an integral component of the beautiful condition of being alive and the consequences are that if you get rid of suffering, you necessarily get rid of the experience of living fully.

I feel that it's much more worthy to live than not to live.

 

I agree that a westernized superficial practice of buddhism might be a very nice thing to do, but I should object about the extreme usefulness of doing it.

 

 

You seem to be misunderstanding what I'm saying here, which is beware of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

As far as your assertion that belief in reincarnation is intrinsic to Buddhism, I draw your attention to the MahńĀtahńĀsakhaya Sutra (MN 38).

 

‚ėģÔłŹ

 

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On 9/5/2018 at 11:09 AM, Arkx6 said:

What is your impression of buddhism and the teachings on samsara (the wheel of life)?

 

Inorder to solve a problem, it helps to know what the problem is, that is to be solved.  The task that Buddha undertook was enormous.  He set out to explain the malady or problem that afflicts all sentient beings.  To explain in such a way that can be understood easily by the layman to the expert in pursuit of liberation.   It is relatively easier to describe a (any) problem, to one set of audience who follow certain framework.  But it is very hard to generally summarize the problem for  everyone.  It may be  easy to call it all as illusion or false and just reject.  But to explain or communicate in a way that not only makes sense to everyone, but also describe a clear path out of it with steps, is just a monumental task beyond imagination. Such a task can only be undertaken by a Buddha.

 

Sakyamuni Buddha's teachings are one of the most direct that gets to the core of the problem or malady that causes suffering.  I consider the 4 noble truths to be the best possible description that also  defines a clear path out of suffering.  We need to be also in the right place in our evolution to understand and apply his teachings entirely.

 

It is a teaching that seemed to have arisen from a deep clarity which is extremely rare.  May be one person reaches such level of clarity in several centuries.  The culture and the background from which Buddha came at that time in India may also partly explain why the samsara was seen and described from the problem and suffering angle.  Similar views werevthere in the Hindu religion in which Buddha was born.  Moksha or the liberation was supposed to be the goal.

 

Personally, I feel it would be very hard to describe the problem and the solution any better than how Buddha did thousands of years back.  It is the best possible summary or narrative that describes accurately the problem faced by all sentient beings.

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1 hour ago, Daemon said:

 

You seem to be misunderstanding what I'm saying here, which is beware of throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

As far as your assertion that belief in reincarnation is intrinsic to Buddhism, I draw your attention to the MahńĀtahńĀsakhaya Sutra (MN 38).

 

‚ėģÔłŹ

 

 

Buddhists believe in Rebirth and Hindus believe in Reincarnation.

I never asserted that reincarnation is intrinsic to buddhism

 

 

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Buddhists have a choice. They can believe in the theory of rebirth (or reincarnation) or they can believe in the theory of dependent origination.

They can also believe in both at the same time (if they don't really understand the theory of dependent origination).

However, fortunately, they can also choose to believe in neither and instead use one or more of many different practical methods of investigation that can be found within Buddhism in order to transcend both these theories and discover the transcendent truth of the matter for themselves.

As an addendum regarding any residual bathwater. It can be allowed to make its way down the plughole at that point, although some Buddhists find it extremely useful for keeping themselves (and others) afloat while investigating the reality of the situation through these various practical means.

 

‚ėģÔłŹ

 

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13 minutes ago, Daemon said:

Buddhists have a choice. They can believe in the theory of rebirth (or reincarnation) or they can believe in the theory of dependent origination.

They can also believe in both at the same time (if they don't really understand the theory of dependent origination).

 

I appreciate your posts regarding rebirth and dependent origination.

 

Early in my exposure to Buddhism, I struggled with the apparent contradiction between the two ideas.

Over time, as I developed a deeper understanding of both concepts through practice, I was able to synthesize and reconcile the apparent paradox. Both concepts can peacefully coexist, somewhat like the Two Truths.

 

A valuable lesson I've learned is that when we come across ideas that don't make sense, it is best not to invest too much time in trying to understand. Better to leave them be and focus on the things that ARE working for us. With time and patience, what is unclear will become clear. We tend to focus the majority of our energy and effort on the things that don't make sense rather than cultivating what does. This is a sure recipe for frustration and wasted effort. None of us understands everything and not everything is amenable to intellectual understanding. Some important realizations, much like creativity, come from a deeper place than the rational mind.

 

It reminds me of Chuang Tzu's parable on Ch'ui, the draftsman.

 

It also reminds me of beautiful words from John O'Donohue that I often quote here:

"And if you want a point of departure for this new journey of soul, don't choose an intention, don't choose a prayer, don't choose a therapy, and don't choose a spiritual method. Look inwards and discover a point of contradiction within yourself. Stay faithful to the aura and presence of the contradiction. Hold it gently in your embrace and ask it what it wants to teach you."

 

 

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I'm struggling to understand why rebirth (in the buddhist sense and not reincarnation which is different) contradicts dependent origination.  Please educate this dim cat.

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I like to think of Buddhism this way.

If everyone followed it fully, humanity would be extinct in one generation.

The irony of it all is that, absolute peace = absolute evil, if you value life and humanity.

If you don't value life and humanity, then absolute peace = good = humanity gone.

So I would guess that you deep down value humanity and life,

and hence find Buddhisms ultimate message a bit bleak.

After all breaking the wheel of karma = breaking humanity.

No humanity, no karma, no suffering, but tons of peace.

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2 minutes ago, Integrated said:

I like to think of Buddhism this way.

If everyone followed it fully, humanity would be extinct in one generation.

The irony of it all is that, absolute peace = absolute evil, if you value life and humanity.

If you don't value life and humanity, then absolute peace = good = humanity gone.

So I would guess that you deep down value humanity and life,

and hence find Buddhisms ultimate message a bit bleak.

After all breaking the wheel of karma = breaking humanity.

No humanity, no karma, no suffering, but tons of peace.

 

I agree with this assessment.  Though what Buddha taught was relevant for everyone, only a fraction of humanity at any given point of time is truly ready for his teachings, to apply them and to break the wheel.

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11 minutes ago, Integrated said:

I like to think of Buddhism this way.

If everyone followed it fully, humanity would be extinct in one generation.

The irony of it all is that, absolute peace = absolute evil, if you value life and humanity.

If you don't value life and humanity, then absolute peace = good = humanity gone.

So I would guess that you deep down value humanity and life,

and hence find Buddhisms ultimate message a bit bleak.

After all breaking the wheel of karma = breaking humanity.

No humanity, no karma, no suffering, but tons of peace.

 

 

Is the wheel of karma a potter's wheel?  Cos I think I'm still stuck.

 

catpot.thumb.jpg.51b1d9313e24aeeb231b5661f07e9c8f.jpg

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11 minutes ago, s1va said:

 

I agree with this assessment.  Though what Buddha taught was relevant for everyone, only a fraction of humanity at any given point of time is truly ready for his teachings, to apply them and to break the wheel.

 

I meant it in the way, if everyone is ready and sincerely applies Buddha's teachings, all of them would be liberated and therefore the end of humanity as we know.  Sentient beings still live.  Only a fraction -- comparing the entire population of Earth from Buddha's time to now  -- actually followed and applied the teachings. Out of that only a very small fraction was able to truly break the wheel of karma.

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