My Experience with Buddhism Pt 1 (Agnosticism)

by dhw, Saturday, December 17, 2022, 10:08 (438 days ago) @ xeno6696

DAVID: The childhood Matt describes evokes a lasting anger in an adult, who must learn to control it by recognizing its source and reasons to change from the biting anger in order to move forward. Matt did that in his own way, beautifully.

Xeno: And yeah David, you hit it on the head--if the exterior matched the interior I would certainly look worse for wear ROFL. Anger generally leads towards destruction if you don't channel it.

This is what I meant by your choices defining who you are in your own eyes as well as in those of others.

dhw: (clarification: this is xeno responding to dhw:) Yes its true that people can put on a mask, but you can't do THAT and live authentically.

It would help if you could briefly quote what you are referring to. In reply to David’s comment that the person he projects to others is himself, I pointed out that very often the person projected to others is NOT necessarily the true self (e.g. a conman). I’m not sure what you mean by “authentically”. The conman’s concealment of his authentic self is his means of being his authentic self: i.e. a selfish bastard who couldn’t care less about the feelings of others. (The “Golden Rule”- see below - has no place in his authentic “self”!)

Xeno: To the extent that internal peace is possible, thinking one way and constantly doing another is oppression. While I'm painting with broad strokes here, the closer one can get to having their internal state match their external state, the extent to which thought and deed are synonymous is an ideal that one should strive for. (I hesitate to push too broadly here because what does the "Golden Rule mean to a Masochist?)

The strokes are TOO broad for me. Yes, we should strive for the “golden rule” (do as you would be done by), but that involves contact with other people. Maybe the Buddhist support for monastic life recognizes this, and recommends shutting yourself off from other people so that you have no occasion to think internal thoughts ( “cravings”) which must be suppressed by external actions. If you yourself had lived your life in solitary confinement, I should imagine 99% of the subjects you were angry about would never have had to enter your mind. (The 1% would have been: “Dammit, why am I cooped up in here?”) Social intercourse requires constantly monitoring and controlling one’s thoughts. You see a beautiful girl, just your type, and you’d like to kiss her. Not an unnatural “bad” thought, is it? But you choose not to kiss her, because that would be immoral and could quite rightly land you in big trouble. What’s the ideal you’re striving for in trying to match internal thought with external deed? To eliminate such thoughts? Then off you must go to solitary confinement. There are thousands of situations in which we have thoughts which must be rejected if we are to do as we would be done by. For me, the ideal is to implement the rule by making the appropriate choice, not by shutting yourself off from choice.

Xeno: Just wanted to bring in a quick note, I did indeed promptly go hug my wife, who typically has more in common with the great Saguaro, so it would have been comical for outsiders to see her surprise! =-)

Delighted to hear it. I had to look up “Saguaro”: a tree-like cactus. Hmmm...not sure she’d like that – and not sure you should hug her after all. Could be painful!


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