Nibbana tangent part 1 (Agnosticism)

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 08, 2024, 16:44 (46 days ago) @ xeno6696

MATT: the sense of future and past isn't there. Which is part of the reason Buddhism places emphasis that where the 'self' lives--is right now in the present moment.

DHW: Which is exactly what I keep saying: the self is the total of our attributes at any given moment, which = right now. There is nothing in your post that I disagree with, and so far I can’t see what there is in my posts that you disagree with.


Matt: Apologies for the unexpected layover. Bank account got hacked around the time of my last post and then in the last week I had an unexpected atopic dermatitis that turned my entire body into essentially a mosquito bite. Sleep was terrible. Also work chose to ramp up, as they say, "when it rains, it pours!"

Everything is back to nominal now.

At any rate, as per this conversation, I had a suspicion for over a week that we were dancing around the same ideas with different window dressing. Your words here echo that--I was honestly just trying to get you to say something to confirm it without me really prompting you.

I think what was getting me was the repeated reference to Nibbana as death, and me not interpreting your statement as a 'well, from my perspective that sounds like death!' It's supposed to be a sense of peace so profound that it eclipses everything else. That doesn't sound like a bad thing (and to me yes, death, despite being natural isn't a good thing to me ROFL).

It did force me to do more studies here, which is never a bad thing. There's a very common misconception that Buddhism teaches literally "the self doesn't exist." And I mean, maybe, if we're drawing in crayon there's truth to that if we relate the Buddhist concept of self against the concept of self we've grown up with. I run the risk of offending maybe, but in my own case it has been an exercise in learning more about my nuances. Understanding for example, that I don't think about my "identity" all that often naturally leads to the question, "well, if it's not so important that I think about it so rarely, how important is it?" Right, so that's detachment from my identity, and I don't see that as a bad thing either.

So it teaches how to have a different relationship with the self, and per the points I was trying to make with Gage and the foot, one that is filled with more gratitude. I tell you what, being on fire and itching head to toes (literally, fingers and toes had rash) makes me value the "nothing" of "normal" that I had taken for granted for several decades! I'm so thankful to be mostly itch free today that it fills me with a sense of joy--which means, in Buddhist terms, that's the best time to meditate. ;-)

Which might be the only puzzle left--you've repeatedly asked about why the ascetic life has some aspect of turning away even from good experiences, and the only answer I've offered is that people who go that far are clearly getting more pleasure from that than you think, or they wouldn't do it. At least in my school of Buddhism, never trust a monastery where a Buddha statue isn't smiling.

Glad you survived. I assume with steroids. Your last paragraph is the key, Buddhists wouldn't do it unless they liked what it did.


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