PsychedelicBuddhist wrote:This is where I assume the whole idea that clinging to people, personal possessions, and so forth is deemed as being a silly source of unnecessary pain by the Buddhists because, as Alan Watts puts it, it's like trying to grab water with your bare hands- it's a futile thing to do because it will all slip away and you'll simply become frustrated and anxious. With this in mind, isn't the self/ego also merely temporary? The ego is a network of experiences, memories, and genetics that create YOU and determine things like what experiences you consider important and worth pursuing, what provides pleasure and pain to your self, and what your degree of appreciation/focus towards said experiences is. Since we've determined that the ego will disintegrate and break away with time and death, isn't all this "soul building" (view of every individual as a spiritual being that must learn, get enlightened, and flourish) unnecessary?
as I currently understand it, this 'soul building' is just an activity of the mind. It's not that anything
gets created by it that wasn't already there in the first place. We folks who have yet to reach right understanding, tend to identify with things such as the form of our body, feelings of pleasure or pain (in the sense of "I am experiencing pleasure...pain"), and other phenomena, as being either 'me' or 'mine', when on closer examination they are proven to not be fitting to be regarded as such. Our physical bodies wear out and eventually die and disintegrate. Feelings of pleasure, as well as of pain, come and then go. Since we can neither hold on to our bodies nor our feelings, regarding them as 'me' or as 'mine' is going to result in a lot of suffering for us. An easy example is an old person terminally ill, still wishing for physical pleasure but only receiving pain, and what's more, nearing death. If one believed that one's physical body was oneself, imagine the grief and sorrow when it was time for that body to pass away? So we ought to examine whether it is fitting or not,
to cling to the idea of the body as self, or feelings as self (or as being experienced by self), or of anything else that is subject to arising and dissolution. Anything which is inevitably going to break apart one day, why would we want to identify with that?
Identifying with ephemeral things that pass away, OR choosing not to identify with them, both
of these are mental activities. The difference is, one of them leads to stress, the other towards greater ease.
PsychedelicBuddhist wrote:To fit suicide into the equation, looking at this from a solely objective perspective, isn't it technically easier to escape the dukha by simply terminating your existence instead of spending years meditating to escape it all? Does Buddhism deem suicide as immoral? If so why? Isn't the outcome of enlightenment and suicide somewhat similar? Isn't suicide the ultimate form of "not clinging" because you choose to potentially terminate your attachment with EVERYTHING that exists, including yourself?
But if you were trying to end your life, motivated by aversion or even a desire to escape the troubles of Samsara, your mind would not be free from craving, and so there would be rebirth, along with even more
dukkha due to the unwholesome kamma of having killed oneself. Even the desire not to exist is still a desire.
The only way to not have to reappear in Samsara is to abandon craving for sensuality, becoming and
non-becoming. We don't get out of here by merely wishing it, we have to become desireless
. And that is generally a long-term project.
NB If any more senior member finds any inaccuracies in my above reasoning, please point it out.