Death or annihilation as the end point

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retrofuturist
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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:05 am

Greetings,
acinteyyo wrote:It seems to me that "nirodha" is often equated with "non-existence". I tend to believe that to imagine it that way is incorrect or at least a misleading oversimplification. With such an assumption it is hard not to end up in annihilation.
I was thinking a similar thing, since nirodha and nibbana point to the cessation of both existence and non-existence.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by SarathW » Thu Nov 26, 2015 2:14 am

There is nothing called existence and non-existence to be ceased.
What is there is the dependent origination.
The thought existence and non-existence is a mental construct.
Perhaps understanding dependent origination is the beginning of the path. (Ariya)
:thinking:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by retrofuturist » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:34 am

Greetings Sarath,

I concur - well said.

Alas, dependent origination seems to get much less emphasis given to it in modern times, compared to the emphasis the Buddha gave it in the suttas. As a result, much of the teaching is invariably misunderstood (IMHO).

Metta,
Paul. :)
Last edited by retrofuturist on Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

SarathW
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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by SarathW » Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:39 am

Is dependent origination a mental construct too?
:juggling:
“As the lamp consumes oil, the path realises Nibbana”

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Pasada
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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by Pasada » Thu Nov 26, 2015 6:24 am

SarathW wrote:Is dependent origination a mental construct too?
No, but dependent origination describes the process by which mental constructs arise and how they influence experience

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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by kirk5a » Thu Nov 26, 2015 1:57 pm

samseva wrote:So, to blow out the flame of existence would be self-annihilation. It brings up a kind of feeling that it is somewhat similar (or you could even say closer) to suicide. When you understand the correct meaning of the word 'Nibbāna', you see that what is meant is that the fire of continued existence goes out by ceasing to add fuel to it, and invariably, the flame becomes extinguised.
I could just as easily interpret that as suicide of a different form, that of non-activity, like a hunger strike. Still not much help if we identify with the flame.
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230

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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by samseva » Thu Nov 26, 2015 7:25 pm

kirk5a wrote:
samseva wrote:So, to blow out the flame of existence would be self-annihilation. It brings up a kind of feeling that it is somewhat similar (or you could even say closer) to suicide. When you understand the correct meaning of the word 'Nibbāna', you see that what is meant is that the fire of continued existence goes out by ceasing to add fuel to it, and invariably, the flame becomes extinguised.
I could just as easily interpret that as suicide of a different form, that of non-activity, like a hunger strike. Still not much help if we identify with the flame.
No, the goal of the practice and the teachings is to put an end to suffering, which is done by uprooting greed, hate and delusion. An inevitable consequence of that is that it also puts an end to the process of rebirth.

Trying to blow out the flame is annihilation, because ending your existence is perceived as the goal, which it is not.

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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by binocular » Tue Aug 30, 2016 7:51 am

Pasada wrote:The question is, can one hold annihilationist beliefs and avoid nihilism?
Yes, but it doesn't seem to be a position that one can arrive at deliberately, nor maintain deliberately.

Some people just don't have any metaphysical problems.

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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:30 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Pasada wrote:Okay, but why not just be a Stoic then? On the whole, Stoicism is much better suited to a modern Western worldview than Buddhism. They don't have any doctrine of rebirth,
True, they were non-committal about the afterlife. On the other hand, the Stoics of old were monotheists and if you read any Stoic forum or e-mail discussion group, you'll find this is a huge bone of contention. Modern enthusiasts for Stoicism in fact have their own equivalent of the Great Rebirth Debate. It's the Great "Can you be a Stoic if you don't believe in Zeus?" Debate.
They can go for Marcus Aurelius' take on Stoicism. He very clearly states it does not matter if there are gods or not. He's also clearly either polytheistic or pantheist, not monotheist, a sort of agnostic pantheist maybe.

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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by davidbrainerd » Tue Aug 30, 2016 9:40 pm

Imagine Batman coming into a room where a hostage is bound. He wants to 'unbind' her and 'liberate' her. Which should he do?

A. Untie the rope around her.

B. Chop her into itty bitty pieces.

Anhihilation as 'unbinding' or 'liberation' is option B. It makes no sense.

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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by binocular » Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:06 am

davidbrainerd wrote:Anhihilation as 'unbinding' or 'liberation' is option B. It makes no sense.
For an annihilationist, it does make sense.

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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by chownah » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:25 am

davidbrainerd wrote:Imagine Batman coming into a room where a hostage is bound. He wants to 'unbind' her and 'liberate' her. Which should he do?

A. Untie the rope around her.

B. Chop her into itty bitty pieces.

Anhihilation as 'unbinding' or 'liberation' is option B. It makes no sense.
How about option C. He explains the dhamma to her and she attains enlightenment right there....then she dies but you know that the buddha says that even a moment of enlighenment is better than the best life of worldly endeavors.
chownah

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Re: Death or annihilation as the end point

Post by Ron-The-Elder » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:49 am

davidbrainerd: "Imagine Batman coming into a room where a hostage is bound. He wants to 'unbind' her and 'liberate' her. Which should he do?"
Your assumption is wrong as it applies to "unbinding and release" as Buddha taught it. We unbind and release ourselves. No one does that for us. It is the discovery, realization, and penetration of The Four Noble Truths, which remove our fetters, eliminate our hindrances, erases our taints, and ends our ignorance. We become enlightened. That is what sets us free. :tongue:
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

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