It reminded me of something in a talk I attended recently by a lay teacher that, on reflection, I found interestingly contradictory.Mr Man wrote:I think death as an end point does generally make humans uncomfortable. I think we should learn to acknowledge that.
http://dhammawheel.com/posting.php?mode ... 3&p=360103
He took the modern line that we should see rebirth as cultural baggage and follow Heidegger's line that an authentic life is aware of the finiteness imposed by death.
That's a plausible argument enough argument in itself. However, later in the talk he remarked that there are, of course, popular teachers who take rebirth seriously such as Ajahn Brahm.
Curiously, he then proceeded to ridicule Ajahn Brahm's (and other's) contention that the death of an Arahant was the end. Annihilation. What was the point of that?
This brings me back to Mr Man's remark. Certainly death (or annihilation) as an end point makes people uncomfortable, and is hard to accept. However, he didn't pick up the irony that he was also preaching annihilation, only in his version annihilation happened at the end of every life.
Perhaps the modernists and the traditionalists are not as far apart as they might seem. In both cases the end is annihilation. The modernists just have the annihilation come earlier...