Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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SDC
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by SDC »

chownah wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:35 am
It is not clear to me who all is included in "all these thinkers"
b]It must be emphasized that this is not in any way a substitute for the Buddha's Teaching[/b]—all these thinkers are still enmeshed in avijjā.
chownah
For Nanavira, he would've been referring to Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, Merleau-Ponty and FH Bradley (although Bradley is not considered either a phenomenologist or an existentialist).

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No_Mind
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

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binocular wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:18 am
Prince Siddhartha left the palace because he was gripped by existential angst.
So Buddha was not a Buddhist?
Prince Siddhartha and the Buddha are not the same person (other than legally).
Huh :?

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus

binocular
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by binocular »

char101 wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:15 pm
Indeed, for example rational emotive behavior therapy I believe focus on life values. There are many methods of therapy, that doesn't mean any of them works for everyone. We just need to choose one that works for ourselves. Personally I don't think these kind of questions fit well with Buddhism.
In which case, a person must already be a committed Buddhist. In which case, the problem of existential angst doesn't come up for them to begin with.

char101
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by char101 »

binocular wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 1:29 pm
char101 wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:15 pm
Indeed, for example rational emotive behavior therapy I believe focus on life values. There are many methods of therapy, that doesn't mean any of them works for everyone. We just need to choose one that works for ourselves. Personally I don't think these kind of questions fit well with Buddhism.
In which case, a person must already be a committed Buddhist. In which case, the problem of existential angst doesn't come up for them to begin with.
Why not, even a psychiatrist can get depressed. An arahat doesn't have existential doubt. An unenlightened person Buddhist or not are filled with ignorance and defilements, thats why they are unenlightened.

chownah
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by chownah »

SDC wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 4:23 am
chownah wrote:
Wed Dec 18, 2019 3:35 am
It is not clear to me who all is included in "all these thinkers"
b]It must be emphasized that this is not in any way a substitute for the Buddha's Teaching[/b]—all these thinkers are still enmeshed in avijjā.
chownah
For Nanavira, he would've been referring to Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, Merleau-Ponty and FH Bradley (although Bradley is not considered either a phenomenologist or an existentialist).
For me the excerpt presented (which has some of the article omitted) seems to be including phenomenologists in the list....it could be that the portion omitted makes it clearer as to who all is included but I really don't think that the intent of the author is to imply that phenomenology IS a substitue for the Buddha's Teaching nor that phenomenologist thinkers ARE NOT enmeshed in avijja.
chownah

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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by Buckwheat »

No_Mind wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:10 am
It is one thing, unlike fear, lust, anxiety etc., that cannot be healed by mindfulness since it cannot be observed as an arising and falling. Like Nibbana, existential angst is a stable state by itself and does not have peaks and valleys.
Angst is constant and unwavering? There are not days that it is stronger than others? There are not days it is milder than others? The cause of arising cannot be investigated? The cause of fading cannot be investigated?

Your post indicates you are too intelligent to believe that rubish. I wish you good fortune in defeating Mara!

(I too struggle with existential angst)
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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No_Mind
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by No_Mind »

Buckwheat wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:04 am
No_Mind wrote:
Mon Dec 16, 2019 5:10 am
It is one thing, unlike fear, lust, anxiety etc., that cannot be healed by mindfulness since it cannot be observed as an arising and falling. Like Nibbana, existential angst is a stable state by itself and does not have peaks and valleys.
Angst is constant and unwavering? There are not days that it is stronger than others? There are not days it is milder than others? The cause of arising cannot be investigated? The cause of fading cannot be investigated?

Your post indicates you are too intelligent to believe that rubish. I wish you good fortune in defeating Mara!

(I too struggle with existential angst)
What I meant is - if I see someone in a nice Audi I feel a hint of envy but then in few minutes it dies (always been that way). Same with lust, or anger .. arises and falls away.

But with existential questions .. especially "why am I here" .. I have been struggling for about 30 years .. and it is a constant presence like my shadow.

I will die in 20-60 years then what difference does anything I do make. Does it matter if I plant a tree? Does it matter if I hit someone?

As char101 said .. it is best to shift to a task based life. I had not thought of that angle this far. I exist to do what I must do today.

There is a reference to it in Matrix Trilogy (if you saw it). The Keymaker existed to open one door for Neo. When that door opened, he died. No matter how many times he asked himself "why am I here" .. the final answer was rather a disappointing one from his perspective. And the same for most of us unless we are a Mandela or Gandhi.

It is mostly to avoid existential angst that "life coaches" tell us to pursue a career we love. But for most people that never happens and we are never truly immersed in the work that we do.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus

Buckwheat
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by Buckwheat »

“Why am I here?” is inappropriate attention. The task at hand is to comprehend the mental habits that lead to this type of question and abandon them. I suspect ignoring that mental habit will land you in the same boat five years down the road.

https://www.dhammatalks.org/suttas/MN/MN2.html
Sotthī hontu nirantaraṃ - May you forever be well.

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SDC
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by SDC »

chownah wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:27 am
For me the excerpt presented (which has some of the article omitted) seems to be including phenomenologists in the list....it could be that the portion omitted makes it clearer as to who all is included but I really don't think that the intent of the author is to imply that phenomenology IS a substitue for the Buddha's Teaching nor that phenomenologist thinkers ARE NOT enmeshed in avijja.
chownah
There's a link to the full letter in the quote title...

binocular
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by binocular »

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:24 am
There is a reference to it in Matrix Trilogy (if you saw it). The Keymaker existed to open one door for Neo. When that door opened, he died. No matter how many times he asked himself "why am I here" .. the final answer was rather a disappointing one from his perspective.
I've never made it through the Matrix films, I fell asleep.
And the same for most of us unless we are a Mandela or Gandhi.
Because it is predestined who gets to be a hero and who doesn't, right?
This kind of sums up the issue at hand, doesn't it?

If one actually educates oneself on the lives of such "heroes" such as Mandela or Gandhi, reflects on their social context, their niche, and their historical moment, they cease to be so hero-like. And the comparison between oneself and them ceases to be so painful and so relevant.

Hero worship (and the concomitant denigration of oneself) thrives on selective attention, lack of information, and superficiality.

we are never truly immersed in the work that we do.
Speak for yourself.

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SDC
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by SDC »

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:08 am
At cost of being gender insensitive - existential angst is principally a male thing. I do not expect most women to understand or comprehend it or any movie or literature about it.
You do know that women also die when they grow old? Last I heard, they actually know about it too! :roll:

I'd say this is costing you quite a bit more than just being gender insensitive. :D

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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by No_Mind »

SDC wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:46 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:08 am
At cost of being gender insensitive - existential angst is principally a male thing. I do not expect most women to understand or comprehend it or any movie or literature about it.
You do know that women also die when they grow old? Last I heard, they actually know about it too! :roll:

I'd say this is costing you quite a bit more than just being gender insensitive. :D
I would not back down. There is an utter lack of woman poets and philosophers .. okay Bronte and Dickinson .. and? Women are capable of grasping the nitty gritty .. that is why they make good lawyers and CEOs .. but quite incapable of abstract thought. They can be a saint but not Christ.

We are past the 50th year of Feminist Movement and Summer of Love .. you cannot say a woman, my age, who has grown up in the West has suffered discrimination .. but no Dali, no Picasso .. no woman from the art world who is a household name. No David Attenborough or Ford Coppola.

You can argue all you want but the record speaks for itself.

Not to say that all women are incapable of abstract thought but most are and that makes the talent pool for those fields among women much smaller. So if there is a male Picasso every century, there will be a female version every ten centuries.

Political correctness is not my forte especially when anonymous.

:namaste:
"The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.”― Albert Camus

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SDC
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by SDC »

No_Mind wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:02 pm
SDC wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 1:46 pm
No_Mind wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 5:08 am
At cost of being gender insensitive - existential angst is principally a male thing. I do not expect most women to understand or comprehend it or any movie or literature about it.
You do know that women also die when they grow old? Last I heard, they actually know about it too! :roll:

I'd say this is costing you quite a bit more than just being gender insensitive. :D
I would not back down. There is an utter lack of woman poets and philosophers .. okay Bronte and Dickinson .. and? Women are capable of grasping the nitty gritty .. that is why they make good lawyers and CEOs .. but quite incapable of abstract thought. They can be a saint but not Christ.

We are past the 50th year of Feminist Movement and Summer of Love .. you cannot say a woman, my age, who has grown up in the West has suffered discrimination .. but no Dali, no Picasso .. no woman from the art world who is a household name. No David Attenborough or Ford Coppola.

You can argue all you want but the record speaks for itself.

Not to say that all women are incapable of abstract thought but most are and that makes the talent pool for those fields among women much smaller. So if there is a male Picasso every century, there will be a female version every ten centuries.

Political correctness is not my forte especially when anonymous.

:namaste:
Again, this isn't an issue of gender insensitivity or political correctness. The fact that you "don't expect most women to comprehend it" in film or literature, speaks volumes about what you don't see about the most generic understanding of the human condition and one's awareness of their own mortality, which is absolute source that fuels anxiety about meaninglessness and absurdity. If you think you can isolate that on lines of gender, that is beyond a silly assertion.

Most people don't comprehend the extent of what death means and that is why the world is filled with people immersed in sensuality. "Dust in their eyes..."

sentinel
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by sentinel »

Immerse in feeling is what womens are
Absorb in thinking is what mens can't get over
Quality is not an act, it is a habit.

binocular
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Re: Existentialism and Buddhist Practice

Post by binocular »

sentinel wrote:
Fri Dec 20, 2019 4:05 pm
Immerse in feeling is what womens are
Absorb in thinking is what mens can't get over
Where did you get this??

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