Bingo! Regardless of the translation used, you have nailed the issue IMO, in that, how one interprets "existence" will of course determine how one interprets "cessation of existence," and this is a major branch point among vying interpretations of what this all amounts to. In a more general sense, how one interprets dependent origination ("forward order") will also determine how they interpret dependent cessation ("reverse order"), and:Garrib wrote:If Nibbana is the cessation of existence, and this cessation applies to the living Arahant (as well as one who has attained to Parinibbana) - then "existence" must not mean what we usually think it means...perhaps this is because this translation of "bhava" is somewhat misleading?
It can get very messy and overwhelming, indeedThis is all so difficult to work out - so many systems and interpretations - AHH! -
The passages that might be seen to support that kind of interpretation actually sometimes inspire in me a sense of awe and wonder, a feeling that there really is something unconditional, something quite beyond the aggregates and worldly experience/life as we know it - Nibbana. I am inspired to realize that Dhamma, and I can take refuge in the fact that it is real - it is a source of immense hope, not only for myself, but for any being human or otherwise.
I'm glad to hear that they inspire in you a sense of awe, wonder and hope, I believe that's what they're supposed to do, and that's what they do to me
Me too. In fact I'll take it a step further, some of what I've seen strikes me as not only off but as a sign of a perverse mentality afflicted with, among other things, sophistry. It's very easy to read the suttas through the lenses of our contemporary secular nihilism and back read the grayscale of our desacralized and supposedly meaningless, mindless and vacuous world onto the insights of the Buddha. The futility that the Buddha found in "existence" has little to do with the musings of the likes of Nietzsche, Marx, Freud and their inheritors, IMO.When I see people then claiming that this true Dhamma is actually just "mere cessation"/nothingness, it just seems off to me - like you can put together a coherent sounding argument in favor of that view, but on some deeper level it just seems incomplete, not quite there...
I guess I should be used to encountering views on the Dhamma that don't appeal to me by now, like the ones that somehow seem to support white nationalism (or other ethnocentrism), nazism etc...but I still get disheartened from time to time, and even feel the need to "defend" my own position.
I stroll through the politics forum once in a while, and I'm glad I stay out of there as a general rule, as I stay out of the media and politics in general . But yeah, that aside, I think its normal to get disheartened, particularly when someone who is perceived as learned and wise is telling you that you should be striving for oblivion. And it's not an all black or white situation, because while sometimes its appropriate and even necessary to call bullshit, it's hard to do without getting involved in more reactive and emotional sludge (read: defilements).
Ditto!Thanks for the conversation...