End destiny of man and life in Buddhism.

Discussion in 'Buddhism' started by Susma Rio Sep, Nov 18, 2006.

  1. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    The best and most perceptive study of a religion is to ask what is the end destiny of man and life in that religion.

    I have been a student of religions since when I started also getting the bug to do religion in my own personalistic way. No, no hand me down religion for me, I have got to have my own DIY religion. That's always been the way with me. If I have the time and resources I would get the best engineers and designers to produce the kind of a car for myself, customized to my ideals of how a car should work and serve me.

    Now, as regards religions, that is what I have to say about all of them: they must serve you, not you them. Examine, each and everyone here, are you being served by your religion or you are enslaved to your religion, the one you have chosen to follow even without a well-deliberated choice, not like when you choose a school for your kids.

    About Buddhism, I used to exchange a lot of views with Vaj here; I have not seen him since my return here for what? a week already. Don't tell me he has gone elsewhere, he being one of the pioneers like myself in this board of Brian; Brian, the person I know well and who had invited even us into his kitchen where he would fix milk for his newly born baby. And I told him to get wedded properly instead of a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship -- what do they call that in the UK? Yes, partners, if my memory serves me correctly. Why get married when you can live freer and cheaper without? Well, think of the kids; but civilization and culture is also getting used to and accepting of kids born outside wedlock. What's that you say? Science and technology determines morality? That is one very insightful statement. Thanks.


    Okay, now I want us all here, Buddhists and non-Buddhists alike, who go for religion like myself, what is the end destiny of man and life in Buddhism. Think hard.

    Nirvana isn't it? Good; now next, ask the Buddhists and also search the volumes and volumes of text ever written and still being written by Buddhists themselves and scholars with scientific orientation and thereby can prescind from self-infatuation with Buddhism, in their scrutiny of Buddhism, in their laboratory examination of Buddhism: What is Nirvana?

    You will find out that Nirvana is an apophatic entity. Think existence in the concrete is thing, as the Romans tell us with the word res from where you get the word reality.

    Now, when you read everything ever written about this end destiny of man and life and the whole universe being Nirvana, you will come to the conclusion that according to the most profound and best authorities of Buddhism, Nirvana is an apophatic thing.

    What is an apophatic thing? First, the word apophatic, is one used by wise guys who pretend to be full of sincerity and candor and integrity and to be all knowing to say something in a most bathys-tic (think abyss or abysmal) way, what they don't know nothing about -- and since they don't know or can know nothing about, why do they talk about it anyway as though it is something they know about like their nose? And how can it bother you or me or anyone if no one knows anything about it -- unless you are bothered by superstition, equivalently by the fear of fear itself?


    Let's go back to what is the end destiny of man and life and the universe in Buddhism, which most if not all Hollywood enthusiasts of Buddhism don't know anything about, Nirvana, isn't it? Think about the etymology of the word then, if nothing else.


    I will be back later in the evening.


    Susma
     
  2. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Susma,

    thank you for the post.

    still around :) i do not post as frequenly as before, however.

    no :)

    Nibbana/Nirvana is not the end of the practice nor the goal, per se. it is, as are many of the things in the Buddha Dharma, an expedient means. in the metaphor of a journey, Nibbana/Nirvana is a way-station, a stop over where one can rest before engaging in the last part of the journey.

    this term in Sanskrit, for the end of the journey, is Annutara Samyak Sambodhi and it is term which is applied to Buddhas rather than Arhants or Bodhisattvas.

    the Buddha Shakyamuni described Nibbana/Nirvana in several methods.. sometimes in terms of the features is presents and, on other occasions, in terms of features it lacks. this is an exmaple of what we call Upaya, skillful means. it is important to understand the context of the teaching, to whom it was given and why. without this understanding we may be trying to apply a teaching which is not suited for us.

    further, there are degrees, shall we say of attainment if Nibbana/Nirvana. the Buddha Shakyamuni explains it thusly:

    Monks, there are these two forms of the nibbana property. Which two? The nibbana property with fuel remaining, and the nibbana property with no fuel remaining.

    And what is the nibbana property with fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is a worthy one devoid of mental effluents, who has attained completion, finished the task, laid down the burden, attained the true goal, destroyed the bonds of becoming, and is released through right knowing. His five sense faculties still remain, and owing to their being intact, he is cognizant of the pleasant & the unpleasant, and is sensitive to pleasure & pain. That which is the passing away of passion, aversion, & delusion in him is termed the nibbana property with fuel remaining.

    And what is the nibbana property with no fuel remaining? There is the case where a monk is a worthy one... released through right knowing. For him, all that is sensed, being unrelished will grow cold right here. This is termed the nibbana property with no fuel remaining.

    These two nibbana properties
    proclaimed by the one with vision
    the one independent
    the one who is Such:

    One property, here in this life
    with fuel remaining
    from the ending of craving,
    the guide to becoming

    and that with no fuel remaining
    after this life
    in which all becoming
    completely stops.

    Those who know this state uncompounded
    their minds released
    through the ending of craving,
    the guide to becoming, they,
    attaining the Teaching's core,
    delighting in the ending of craving,
    have abandoned all becoming:
    they, the Such.

    Iti 28-49:

    metta,

    ~v
     
  3. bodhi_mindisfree

    bodhi_mindisfree New Member

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    Remember, Shakyamuni lived for some time after attaining liberation. Therefore, Nirvana cannot be the end of destiny if one can live after attaining it. I don't know if this makes since, so i'll stop here.
     
  4. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Re: End destiny... What I mean by end destiny of man in Buddhism.

    I said Nirvana is the end destiny of man in Buddhism and for the whole universe. Maybe I should have said Parinirvana; but that might still to Buddhist doctrinaires not exactly correct in reference to the end destiny of man.

    But first I must specify more precisely what I mean by end destiny of man.

    You see in every religion of some sophistication where there are people of concepts aside from people doing devotions and worshiping the worshipful in their religion, and not scrutinizing the innards of the religion to see how they are working together and how to put them into some system, as the innards in a man's abdomen are systematically organized in accordance to a functional scheme, there are such concepts people.

    By the end destiny of man in Buddhism I mean the ultimately last status of man and the universe as taught in a religion. I think the technical term is de novissimis in Latin, or from the Greek, eschatology, in English we have the term end times.

    By the end destiny of man in Buddhism I refer both to each individual man's ultimate lot and to mankind's as a whole and also including the universe.

    Certainly, Buddhism has also teachings about the end destiny of man, as Christianity and Islam. Or it does not?

    For Gautama is notorious, yes, notorious for skirting questions which for the rest of mankind even during his time and clime had been and are still today the most pressing, like is there a God? is there a self? he consigns all such most crucial queries of man to the dustbin, calling them in effect idle questions. And in that attitude he is totally and woefully mistaken, because unless he answers those questions his whole system of religion and philosophy of man and life and world view is without foundation, for people who are intelligent and critical and will not be put away by the facile assurance that important thing is to attend to the wounded man -- and stop there?

    So, addressing the Buddhists here in this forum, what is the end destiny of man and the universe in Buddhism?


    Susma
     
  5. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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    The destiny of man and the universe is death, for what has arisen must cease.
    There is nothing facile about this fact - in accepting it or facing it.

    It is the ignorant who skirt the important questions, not of what is real, but what is effective, meaningful.
    What is meaningful to you Susma?
     
  6. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Re: End destiny... What I mean by end destiny of man in Buddhism.

    Namaste Susma,

    thank you for the post.

    Parinirvana/Parinibbana is a term which is applied to the physical form of a being which is Awake when the physical form ceases and it isn't what you mean to be asking about either, from what i can tell.

    all compounded things break up and decay.

    it occurs to me that one of the issues with the questions that you are asking is that you are asking with the assumption that something like a soul or self exists in some substantial manner after the break up of the physical form. questions based on such assumptions are, ultimately, not going to glean the answer that you want from the Buddha Dharma.

    would you be surprised if i told you that your feeling of this is based on an imcomplete understanding of the Buddha Dharma? Buddhas answer their questions based on the understanding and level of spiritual understanding of the audience. So.. before you can decide if the Buddhas silence is an answer to your question, you must determine if you are in the same position and mindset as the beings to which this teaching was addressed.

    the Buddhas responses to these questions vary based on the beings to whom the teaching is given.

    in some cases, it is precisely as you say, the questions were simply ignored since knowing them does not help ones practice in anyway. at other times, however, the teachings are more explicit about the nature of deity and the roles that they play and how they are to be understood from the Buddhist standpoint.

    that is, of course, your view... though you messed up the metaphor.. the assurance is given to the wounded man that he should be treated rather than worrying about who shot him and all of that... not, for the bystanders, per se.

    metta,

    ~v
     
  7. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Re: End destiny of man.... Parinirvana is it.

    From my stock knowledge of Buddhism, everyman is supposed to be destined for Nirvana in this life, if you don't get there or attain that in this life you will come back again and again until you do; and when you do then you pass to Parinirvana, the definitive final Nirvana, when you die in the state of Nirvana -- can you still lose Nirvana once you have attained Nirvana? probably not, not in the dharma of Buddhism.

    So we can say that Parinirvana is the ultimate destiny of each man and of consequently mankind.

    Now, what I am most curious about is whether mankind, the whole species and the individuals, are still around in any manner when everyone has attained Parinirvana.

    And what about the plants which are not sentient beings in Buddhism, men and women of course and animals are sentient beings; but in Buddhism plants are not.

    And what about the universe at large?


    Are those questions legitimate and most important ones for all men who do embrace any kind of religion or world view or life philosophy.?

    Even scientists who don't or are supposed to be above religions, tell us that or they have ideas about the final condition of the universe. which is unless I am mistaken the opposite of the Big Bang; so that if the universe started with an explosion of energy and matter in a Big Bang, the end of the universe will witness a universe without energy anymore, one of complete inert matter with no possibility of exploding itself again to evolve into the kind of universe we have at this very moment, where mankind has appeared with his conscious intelligence.


    Addressing Buddhists and enthusiasts of Buddhism, what do you know or don't know about the end destiny of man in the teachings of Buddhism and also the universe at large?


    Susma
     
  8. samabudhi

    samabudhi New Member

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    In Buddhism we speak about two truthes. The first is the constructed world of conventional truth and falsehood. The second is the ultimate nature of things which is beyond convention. It does not exhibit the three marks of existence. Time is compounded, a fabrication, and it falls into the realm of conventional truth, so I have already answered your question earlier in terms of conventional truth.
    But in terms of ultimate truth, it cannot be said that anything has a destiny, since this is based on time.
     
  9. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Re: End destiny of man... Two kinds of truths in Buddhism...?

    Let me do a diagram of the whole universe of Buddhism and Buddhists in your knowledge about the teachings of Buddhism, but first I would like to ask you whether outside Buddhism and if you were not a Buddhist of this kind of thinking and knowing, or before you became one, this question:

    Which is the or what is the universe that matters whether man exists or not, man with a conscious intelligence?

    Let me explain: we know that man has not always existed, is that true or a fact? anyway granting that it is a fact, is there or has there been a universe without man? Or if you are not existing as you are now existing, is there a universe without you?

    Now, let me diagram your kinds of truths, two truths -- are there other truths aside from the two your kind of Buddhism knows about and is concerned with?


    TRUTHS in the Buddhism of Samabudhi:

    ...constructed world of conventional truth and falsehood:
    ......e.g., time which is compounded, a fabrication, and it falls into
    ......the realm of conventional truth.

    ...ultimate nature of things which is beyond convention,
    ...scil., ultimate truth,
    ......not exhibiting the three marks of conventional truth


    Let me rewrite your message in post #8:
    into the following text:
    Forgive me for writing so much words above.

    Let us just then, good man Samabudhi, concentrate on the word 'meaningful.'

    You are asking me "What is meaningful to you Susma?" I will tell you if you promise not to go away from me until I tell you that you may go away from me, all right?


    Susma
     
  10. sjr

    sjr New Member

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    I have it the answer to Susma question:

    page20

    valokitesvara Bodhisattva
    when practicing deeply the Prajna Paramita
    perceives that all five skandhas are empty
    and is saved from all suffering and distress.

    Shariputra,
    form does not differ from emptiness,
    emptiness does not differ from form.
    That which is form is emptiness,
    that which is emptiness form.

    The same is true of feelings,
    perceptions, impulses, consciousness.

    Shariputra,
    all dharmas are marked with emptiness;
    they do not appear or disappear,
    are not tainted or pure,
    do not increase or decrease.

    Therefore, in emptiness no form, no feelings,
    perceptions, impulses, consciousness.

    No eyes, no ears, no nose, no tongue, no body, no mind;
    no color, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch,
    no object of mind;
    no realm of eyes
    and so forth until no realm of mind consciousness.

    No ignorance and also no extinction of it,
    and so forth until no old age and death
    and also no extinction of them.

    No suffering, no origination,
    no stopping, no path, no cognition,
    also no attainment with nothing to attain.

    The Bodhisattva depends on Prajna Paramita
    and the mind is no hindrance;
    without any hindrance no fears exist.
    Far apart from every perverted view one dwells in Nirvana.

    In the three worlds
    all Buddhas depend on Prajna Paramita
    and attain Anuttara Samyak Sambodhi.

    Therefore know that Prajna Paramita
    is the great transcendent mantra,
    is the great bright mantra,
    is the utmost mantra,
    is the supreme mantra
    which is able to relieve all suffering
    and is true, not false.
    So proclaim the Prajna Paramita mantra,
    proclaim the mantra which says:

    gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
    gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha
    gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi svaha.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2006
  11. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Re: End destiny of man... Let's start with what is meaningful for each of us.

    We are talking about the end destiny of man.

    And I am inviting Samabudhi to share with me what is meaningful to him as for myself, he is the one who asks me what is meaningful to me.

    So, I will say that what is meaningful to me is to stay alive, to live comfortably, and to help others to do likewise; then also I count it very meaningful to me to keep everything that Gautama says about the skandhas that they be disregarded or downgraded, for me namely to keep them active and very functional and very constructive and very productive, so that I can enjoy life and specially know about life and the whole vast universe of existence; then also very meaningful to me is to find the way and means to stay alive indefinitely and active.

    What about the rest of you guys here? Buddhists and non-Buddhists.

    Maybe you would like to start with what is not meaningful to you? instead of what is meaningful to you -- for I seem to see that for Buddhists they tend to see what is not meaningful than what is meaningful, what about non-Buddhists?



    Susma
     
  12. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    susma rio rep... u say that "The best and most perceptive study of a religion is to ask what is the end destiny of man and life in that religion".

    but is it?

    does the destination matter as much as the journey? Surely the best study of a religion is to study how it influences its ppl in their everyday life? To study living faith, rather than dead religion...? (obviously I'm not saying buddhism is dead, although it's on its last legs, I think...)

    We don't know what happens to ppl when they die. We can offer up theories, we can speculate, but will we ever know until we experience such for ourselves..?

    No, and so, our truths will be of the conventional kind. Different for different ppl, and varying from buddhist to buddhist.

    Buddha taught ppl about impermanence. That dying is just part of existing. We all die in the end. There's no point worrying about it, as we get there soon enough. Much better for us, and everyone else, if we concentrate on living.

    Nirvana, like everything else, is a construct. Nirvana is not an "ultimate" truth. It is a concept. It in itself is a conventional truth, an approximation, an admixture (sama) of qualities/types (vrtti) of truth (satya), a truism, it is not "ultimate truth" (or, param-artham-satya, "(that which is) beyond (para) the question (artha) of truth (satya")

    Buddha died at around 80 years old. Did he move down the bus, reincarnate, regenerate, does he hang around the ether offering us his good thoughts? Who knows. Do we all get a chance to reach nirvana in this lifetime? Yes. Of course. If we miss the boat do we get another chance? I don't know. And neither does anyone else. We might hope that we do, but who can say 100% that we definately will?

    gate-, gate- paragate- parasamgate- bodhi- svaha

    (he goes, he goes, he goes beyond, he goes completely beyond (is he knowing insights? Call the self (to this..)
     
  13. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Re: End destiny of man and life in Buddhism... you have got to know it.

    I seem to notice that we have similar drifts and also dissimilar ones.

    Let me ask you a question which I hope you will not go away instead of answering it according to your best reasons and knowledge.

    You are a stranger in a strange land, you have to know where to go to for a roof and bed for the night approaching, and for a good filling meal, and also for safety of your person and security of your belongings, your cash first and foremost.

    That is life which everyone has from birth. You see people waiting for a bus, you know that a bus is for getting people to where they want to go.

    What do you do, first ask them where they are going or just observe how they get into the bus and how they behave in the bus?

    So, I disagree with you most vehemently that "Surely the best study of a religion is to study how it influences its ppl in their everyday life?"

    No, I would still maintain that "The best and most perceptive study of a religion is to ask what is the end destiny of man and life in that religion".

    We do know what happens to people when they die, they stay dead and their remains return to the earth; what we don't know is whether they still have any existence that matters to them or to us. As to us, they are memories from and on which we can exercise our emotions and can learn about life: how to live better and longer.

    ...but will we ever know until we experience such for ourselves..?

    Death is the last episode in life which ends life and all further experiences and which does not allow the deceased to know about his own death, at least not in a manner that they can communicate their knowledge of the dying experience and the death state to us -- we are talking about the death that is already in the decaying condition, not any kind of dying from which the subject is still around today to talk about it; that is not dying unto death we are talking about.

    You mean Buddhism is a conventional truth even among Buddhists themselves, like lips to lips kissing is a conventional way of showing affection; in which case I agree with you, that Buddhism is conventional all around, and therefore it is not like walking with your feet instead of with your hands only.

    Yes, I agree with you if you have the idea broader about religion, that there is no such thing as a true religion, that all religions are conventional. However, we want to know what the convention in a religion say Buddhism is supposed to achieve for the people engaged in the convention -- for we know what the conventional way of lips to lips kissing among Americans and Westerners generally is supposed to achieve, namely: show of affection and also for the partners in kissing, pleasurable sensation.

    Much better for us, and everyone else, if we concentrate on living.

    Is that really what Gautama is telling people to do, to concentrate on living? And what kind of life and living does he propose to his followers to be the best kind, like say giving up home and family and marriage and career to dwell in isolation from society meditating on emptiness and waiting for death to pass into parinirvana. I just read some days again that at the start Gautama thought that women are not fit for his movement because they are the vessels of rebirths, and rebirth is what he is trying to prevent in human existence or in all sentient beings.

    Of course we know from logic to be fallacious, blaming women for the so-called law of rebirth, in which case effect genocide on women, then no more rebirth of humans, only other sentient beings will continue in the chain of rebirthing, which is sure to render impossible the complete and definitive ending of the chain of rebirths which Gautama wanted to stop with himself and for every human and sentient being.

    How does the genocide of women render impossible complete and definitive end of rebirths? Because only in humans who are born of women and can't otherwise be, that the passage to nirvana and parinirvana can be realized, not in any other sentient rebirth existences.

    That is why I am always wondering and at my wit's end why any rationally intelligent person would sign up with Buddhism.

    That Buddhist idea about impermanence, it is not any massive discovery about existence and life; but Gautama and Buddhists look at it as per their indoctrinated psychology in a negative way. Tell them that if things stay pemanent without change, then Gautam would always be a baby without intelligible speech and would never have developed into what his disciples and followers proclaim him to be, a Buddha -- some enlightened being indeed who sees only the dark sides of things.


    Shall we all concentrate on finding out what is the end destiny of man and life according to Buddhism; so far I seem to have the impression that Buddhists here participating, two or three at this point, are skirting the issue.


    Susma
     
  14. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Re: End destiny of man and life in Buddhism... the simple and the complex answers.

    Since the Buddhists here and their sympathizers have not so far given any answers to the question what is the end destiny of man and life in Buddhism, I looked up in the Wikipedia the topics Buddhist eschatology and Buddhist cosmology.

    Sorry to say so, but what I came across is justifiably winners of the most complex and complicated and absurdly illogical of eschatology and cosmology ever taught in a religion. See for yourselves:

    Buddhist eschatology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Buddhist cosmology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Lucky or good karma for ordinary Buddhists in lands traditionally with Buddhism for their national faith, they don't have to master Buddhist eschatology and Buddhist cosmology to know what happens to them after death, and after all the almost endless rebirthings to get rid of suffering in life and attain parinirvana.

    What I know from some readings about beliefs and practices of ordinary Buddhists in Thailand is that they believe in gaining merits so that they will get rebirthed into better lots on earth, or into the realm of the gods or devas who literally party for kalpas (kalpa is an immeasurable duration of time) in this realm.

    I believe Western Buddhists have their work mapped out for them: rationalize and simplify the eschatology and cosmology of Buddhism; and don't forget to use Occam's razor most drastically.

    But there is the simple end destiny of man and life in Buddhism, thus enunciated time and again in the standard reference works or dictionaries and short encyclopedias on philosophies and religions:

    In my own words from my stock knowledge reading these concise knowledge tomes:

    The end destiny of man and life in Buddhism is the attainment of nirvana by all sentient beings of which humans are rebirthed forms of, called parinirvana, that is the Nirvana that succeeds death in the state of nirvana. What exactly is this state of nirvana or parinirvana is never tangibly described or expounded by the masters of nirvana, except that you will be rid of suffering, just like the candle flame is no longer burning when it is blown off by a gust of wind.

    I am very sorry, but I certainly don't want that kind of an end destiny for myself and my loved ones and for all living things; what I want is to live again without all the unpleasant things in life today, and to live forever and ever, with my pet dogs and cats and of course all the guys and gals I have ever loved, starting with my own family, my beloved wife and kids and all family members above and below in the genealogy tree, and also all good friends in life.


    Susma
     
  15. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Re: End destiny of man and life in Buddhism... the simple and the complex answers.

    Namaste Susma,

    thank you for the post.


    answers were provided, it seems that they did not meet with your approval however.

     
  16. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    Re: End destiny of man and life in Buddhism... you have got to know it.

    "I seem to notice that we have similar drifts and also dissimilar ones", yes we do, great round ere, innit..?

    i would answer ur question in the following manner....

    although I might be a stranger in a strange land, I would make sure I knew where I was going b4 I got there, and then I could enjoy my journey, yes, but I always end up where I'm meant to be, so I wouldn't be too concerned about reaching my destination... I would not bother to ask the ppl at the bus stop where I was going, as this might attract unwanted attention to my person and I might get mugged, and they might not know either... I would instead rely on my own initiative, and if that failed me, I would hail a taxi and show my driver my map...

    u say:"Death is the last episode in life which ends life and all further experiences and which does not allow the deceased to know about his own death, at least not in a manner that they can communicate their knowledge of the dying experience and the death state to us -- we are talking about the death that is already in the decaying condition, not any kind of dying from which the subject is still around today to talk about it; that is not dying unto death we are talking about"

    -and yet some buddhists believe that the consciousness can be deliberately trained to reincarnate, some believe that death can be planned and prepared for, some believe the consciousness is "recycled" and beings transmigrate, are born again at some point and may be of a different species, sex, race, some believe that death is death and thats the end, some buddhists believe that their rebirth will be in a pure land, some think shinje counts out the black and white pebbles, but none of us can say that any all or some of these ends is a true end, because all of these states are subjective and referential, not experiential...

    "for we know what the conventional way of lips to lips kissing among Americans and Westerners generally is supposed to achieve, namely: show of affection and also for the partners in kissing, pleasurable sensation",

    and I again say-but only in certain contexts, and with certain ppl, for instance, men do not kiss men on the lips unless they are gay or related, women most likely wouldn't kiss their bosses on the lips, or strange men at the bus stop, and buddhism is the same, influenced by the different cultures it has been exposed to, and different from person to person, or school to school...



    you then say- "And what kind of life and living does he propose to his followers to be the best kind, like say giving up home and family and marriage and career to dwell in isolation from society meditating on emptiness and waiting for death to pass into parinirvana. I just read some days again that at the start Gautama thought that women are not fit for his movement because they are the vessels of rebirths, and rebirth is what he is trying to prevent in human existence or in all sentient beings",

    and I would have to say that although u might have a point there, my version of the story runs that Sakyamuni, having performed the austerities and meditated in the woods til he almost died of starvation decided that such extremes were not the answer, and advocated a middle way, and although he ran off to be an aranyaka/sadhu and do all the things aranyakas/sadhu's did he did eventually go home where he reputedly dragged all his family into buddhism also, and although he did abandon his son and wife and head for the woods he didn't see them cast out onto the street and they were all well looked after by the others in his family, and my version of the story also says that he admitted himself that although sitting in the woods meditating and staring at the trees might be a great way to get enlightened, it wasn't practible for everyone to do this, and accepted that u could be a "householder" and still be a bhakti, or a sadhu, much like all hindu's did...

    as for the women thing, surely ur taking it out of context..? yes, apparently in the sutras it says to be born a woman is not as good as to be born a man, but maybe what he was really saying was that... it is, in our time and place, worse to live as a woman than a man, because of familial and societal roles, rules, and responsibilities, and it is harder for a woman than a man to sit in the woods if she has to deal with her period and we havent invented tampons... maybe women, married off early and burdened by children, who she can hardly abandon, are less likely to sit in the woods all day, as they have chapatti's to make...? And so, what he was saying, to me at least, was that if ur a man who's sitting in the woods all day, be happy u were born a man, because if u were born a lass u'd be barefoot and in the kitchen by now... as we know, buddha, much like jesus, and mohammed, did not sit down and write their own holy books, and so what is said is most likely influenced by the authors perceptions as well as conventional realities of the day, the zeitgeist...yes, I have heard that buddha reputedly said that women should be viewed as bags of pus, etc, something to be dispised, he was only doing this to prevent lusty thoughts in the minds of monks, rather than view them as things to be destroyed... instead of looking at a ladies boobs, and thinking, mmm, I'd like to do her, u should see them as rotting corpses instead, stinking and filled with pus, and the idea was, if u thought this enough, u would stop getting a boner which distracted u from ur contemplations... it's called adverse conditioning, I believe..

    If, as buddhists, we take everything that is reputedly the words of the buddha at face value then we completely miss the point of buddhism, and if that is the case, then perhaps we should view this "ending this chain of rebirth" as a metaphor. Instead of aspiring for an end, we instead aspire to the end of suffering, first within our own continuum, and then, hopefully, we stop running round in circles, or digging mudholes, and maybe also, as well as this, then suffering slowly ends for all.

    its a huge leap from the end of suffering to the "genocide of women", and suggest u take no notice of buddhism when it doesn't make sense.

    "That is why I am always wondering...why any rationally intelligent person would sign up with Buddhism".

    buddhism is very rational, if u take away the gaudy lights and the tinsel. It says- what is existence? what is suffering? here is existence, here is suffering. then it says- if ur miserable, and u dont like suffering, this is what u can do to help urself. If u fancy ur chances as a saint, then here are some skills which will be very useful for u, and here are some ideas u should contemplate first.

    "That Buddhist idea about impermanence, it is not any massive discovery about existence and life; but Gautama and Buddhists look at it as per their indoctrinated psychology in a negative way. Tell them that if things stay pemanent without change, then Gautam would always be a baby without intelligible speech and would never have developed into what his disciples and followers proclaim him to be, a Buddha -- some enlightened being indeed who sees only the dark sides of things",

    and to this I would say- as a starting point, realising that nothing stays the same might frighten some, but I consider it liberating. If it is the nature of things to change, then the things we are told matter might not, the things we think we cannot escape or change we can, and that includes all things which manifest within our own psyches, and within our societies. It says- don't stick to the rules for the sake of the rules. Stick to the rules that don't harm u or anyone else. It says, don't pledge allegience to ur kin for the sake of sharing the same DNA, ally urself to the truth. It says, dont wait for a big hand to come out of the sky and make thing better, rely upon ur own wisdom, and u'll be suprised how far it will take u. It says- sort ur head out, if ur miserable, and things will start to look brighter. Or at least, that is what it says to me, and to me that's as far from being "dark" as it gets.

    no other religion said to me- really, ur as unsullied as a fresh lotus blossom, and yeah, ur roots are in the mud, but u are stainless on the top of the water, no other religion said to me- hey, miseryguts, change ur attitude, which isnt urs anyway, and u'll be happier, no other religion said to me- steal, u get nicked, then ur in jail, and if u dont like jail dont steal, no other religion said to me- u could be great, if u gave urself a chance, try this on for size...

    as u've probably gathered, I dont do the guru and the lineage thing, I dont really care about observing traditions becuase this is the way its done. If u apply ur rational approach to buddhism, and simply ignore the rubbish bits, u'd like it a lot more, methinks...

    cheerio for now
     
  17. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    in any event, our rejection of your OP is not a religious objection, rather it is a philosophical objection as the foundations upon which the question relies is based on a radically different ontology than what Buddha Dharma presents. -- Vaj​


    Well, that is interesting.

    Do we have any common ontology on which we can arrive at concurring positions on the end destiny of man and life?


    Susma
     
  18. Susma Rio Sep

    Susma Rio Sep New Member

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    Thanks, Francis, for your informative post.

    We do have a number of similar drifts and a number of differing ones.

    Tell me though, what would you want to be the end destiny of man and life were you not a Buddhist by any measure and yardstick of Buddhism?


    Susma
     
  19. Vajradhara

    Vajradhara One of Many

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    Namaste Susma,

    I do not know.. what is your philosophical position regarding reality? i can offer that the basic Buddhist ontological position is one of Empircism.

    nevertheless, the issue is in the definition of the terms.. what does the term "man" mean and all of that sort of thing. it can certainly be a pendantic discussion, at times, but one which is necessary to see if we mean the same things by the same term.

    further, there are four seperate and distinct philosophical schools, with two sub-schools, which are valid depending on the particular Vehicle that one practices, which can make the discussion even more complicated :)

    overall, however, speculating about the end of the universe is somewhat irrelevant to what i'm going to prepare for dinner tonight ;)

    metta,

    ~v
     
  20. Francis king

    Francis king New Member

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    "Tell me though, what would you want to be the end destiny of man and life were you not a Buddhist by any measure and yardstick of Buddhism?"

    that's a hard one, susma...

    as a non-buddhist human, I think I would like the end destiny of man to involve riches, dancing girls, lots of beer, a fast sports car and maybe eternal youth and beauty, seeing as it escaped me the first time round, in some place where there is no war or want, and where ppl can be artistic and creative and dazzle me with their brilliance. And I don't think I'd want to see an end to life, as such, and so I would hope the end gave me immortality, but I wouldn't want everyone to be immortal, as earth would get too crowded.

    personally, I have decided that when I die, I am not going on into bliss, but am going to hang around as a ghost for a while, to annoy and terrify ppl, and then I will look for a new body, and be reborn as the child of someone rich and powerful, preferably someone who is a buddhist. I need to learn how to close the womb door, though, and nobody will tell me, so I'm hoping a padlock and hasp and a few nails will do the trick...

    cheerio
     

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