Nibbana tangent part 1 (Agnosticism)

by xeno6696 @, Sonoran Desert, Tuesday, May 28, 2024, 22:51 (57 days ago) @ dhw

dhw: “Conditioned existence” presumably means there can be no more experiences. The final thread is clearly consciousness of the self, which ties in with the concept that has caused us so much trouble: “all concept of self must disappear”. My one and only point is that if there is no concept of self, and there is no eternal self, then Nibbana means death.

Then how come the Buddha didn't die and he continued to teach for 40yrs? What you're saying is an absurdity. Unless this whole time you've been talking about this from a metaphorical or romantic perspective? "If I, dhw, lost my sense of self, I would die!"

MATT: Look, let me be honest, understanding Nibbana is hard even for many Buddhists, the only thing I can tell you is that it is absolutely true that the deeper and more peaceful the meditation, the more my sense of self gets silenced...

The discussion about Nibbana is not meant in any way to denigrate the personal, therapeutic effects of meditation. I’m concerned here ONLY with the meaning of Nibbana, which is supposed to be the ultimate goal for those who want to get there.

But what you seem to keep ignoring, is that all of those therapeutic benefits is precisely the predicted results of following the Buddha's path, and that the compass that points to Nibbana is precisely that path that gave me those benefits. Nibbana is some far shore that I don't care about sure, but it isn't death. Or there would be no Buddhism.

MATT: I've been very careful to refer to Nibbana as the extinguishing of the sense of self throughout this exchange.

So if Nibbana = no sense of self, and there is no eternal self, and the cycle of rebirth is over, there is no longer a “you”, and that is why I suggest that Nibbana means death.

You overidentify that a "sense of self" means you as an entity. You already spend a good chunk of your day doing things where the sense of self is repressed or at least on snooze, unless every waking second of every day you repeat to yourself "I am dhw, I am dhw." Your "sense of self" is no different than an emotion really. It's not always on. And this is why I said this bridge won't be crossed, because you simply hold fast to your interpretation. I don't have that interpretation. I've even offered a better definition of the self, simply, conscious attention on the present moment, and you seem to reject that too, because you are attached to all of the memories and body parts that you feel makes you "you." But like I said when bringing up Phineas Gage, if you take those memories to be "you," as in "I, dhw am not myself without my memories and my love for cricket," then by your own definition if you suffered trauma and lost those things, you would cease to be yourself and die. You might not even be aware that stuff is all missing, but that's part of what the bigger picture of Buddhism tries to present to us.


MATT: If we're talking physical body parts, that's (literally) alot more solid. The errant thinking though is that your love of cricket has the same level of permanence and reality as your feet.

I never said or thought it did. My point is that we are not conscious all the time of everything that is there, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t there! (Contd. in Part Two)

--
\"Why is it, Master, that ascetics fight with ascetics?\"

\"It is, brahmin, because of attachment to views, adherence to views, fixation on views, addiction to views, obsession with views, holding firmly to views that ascetics fight with ascetics.\"


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