Nibbana tangent part 2 (Agnosticism)

by David Turell @, Saturday, May 18, 2024, 17:53 (67 days ago) @ xeno6696

MATT: As to "why rebirth at all?" you have to understand that it comes from the continuity of Hinduism and their conceptions of the universe. I'm fine with a Buddhism that lacks rebirth, but I will agree that the longer-term perspective the idea of rebirth offers opens up more avenues to foster long-term decision making. (Or for more terrible hedonisms, though to be honest there's only so much pleasure one can take before you get utterly bored of all of them.)

If you’re fine rejecting the whole concept of rebirth, with all the confusion it creates, then we can drop the subject. Perhaps you’re also fine with dropping the goal of complete obliteration of the self?

Who said I had that goal? I'm actually quite sure that somewhere up the chain I mentioned this. I've no desire to be a monastic. The Buddhist ideal, the pursuit of Nibbana, that's ultimately a monk's game. The other 499M of us have families to worry about.

I'm snipping alot of the rest of this, because I don't see it as really moving the conversation anywhere.

Yesterday, you wrote: Nice, we're moving right along! =-) I would heartily agree that so far my experience of Buddhism has been precisely therapeutic.

Under no circumstances would I wish to dispute anything that is of therapeutic value to you, and it is precisely the “big” questions that I am focusing on. Nothing personal. I find the concept of rebirth extremely confusing, and it’s clear from your response that you do too. Nibbana is so nebulous that to me it suggests eternal death as the ideal state. You have tried to explain why it isn’t. There is no “methodology” involved other than each of us trying to understand something which basically is a total mystery! The concept of self and above all loss of self is the only one which clearly enters the more personal realm, and I apologize if my arguments offend you. But as in all my discussions with David, I am arguing against theories not against personal faith. A monk’s experience doesn’t explain to me why I should rid myself of all the personal desires which are integral to my individuality and the fulfilment of which have given me the greatest joy in life. But I can understand totally that if my desires cause unhappiness for me or other people, then I need to make changes to myself. Thumbs up for therapy:-) , thumbs down for dogma:-( .

See my note about methodology, it's meant for this view you have where you're being careful about my experience--I bring up my practice notes on purpose, because it's me actually doing the teachings and reporting back on what it actually looks like. Sometimes we get hung up on words. I appreciate the tender care you're showing me, but every time I reach back to personal experience here, it is to try and demonstrate what the words of that teaching look like, when actually lived.

What we appreciate is your openness with us about your experience in Buddhism. We are all searching for meanings.

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