Happiness does NOT exist

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alfa
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Happiness does NOT exist

Post by alfa » Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:55 am

Neither does love or compassion (or anything remotely positive).

Friends :smile:

Pain exists. Stress exists. Anger exists. Hate exists.

We all know that. No one's even gonna debate that. We've all experienced it.

Therefore, the only conclusion is this: love cannot exist except as a negation of hate. Meaning, love is not a thing in itself and exists only in relation to hate. Bliss has no independent existence. It exists as a negation of sorrow.

This is probably why the Buddha said, 'I teach about stress and the ending of stress.' He didn't say: I will teach you how to be happy.

This is not just a difference in semantics, is it?

Had he said, 'I will teach you how to be happy,' that would imply happiness is a separate independent thing to be pursued, or a state of consciousness to be attained. But if it's only a negation of stress, then it cannot be pursued directly. It can only be pursued indirectly - that is, by ending stress.

And because happiness (or love, compassion, etc.) does not exist except as a negation, it cannot be called existence. But since the ending of stress cannot be the same as stress - obviously, it has to be radically and fundamentally different from stress - one cannot call this non existence either. This is probably why the Buddha said nirvana cannot be defined as either existence or non existence.

The above is my interpretation of the dhamma. :anjali: You are free to disagree.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by retrofuturist » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:00 am

Greetings,
alfa wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:55 am
Therefore, the only conclusion is this: love cannot exist except as a negation of hate.
What do you mean by "negation"?

Imagine a scale, where 1 is love, 0 is neutral, and -1 is hate.

Do you mean the "absence of hate" (0) or the "opposite of hate" (1)?

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

"It is natural that one who knows and sees things as they really are is disenchanted and dispassionate." (AN 10.2)

“Truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.” (Flannery O'Connor)

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cappuccino
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by cappuccino » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:00 am

Buddha says to develop the good. And decrease the bad.

Hence, I must strongly disagree.
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alfa
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by alfa » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:04 am

retrofuturist wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:00 am
Greetings,
alfa wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:55 am
Therefore, the only conclusion is this: love cannot exist except as a negation of hate.
What do you mean by "negation"?

Imagine a scale, where 1 is love, 0 is neutral, and -1 is hate.

Do you mean the "absence of hate" (0) or the "opposite of hate" (1)?

Metta,
Paul. :)
Instead of absence, I'd use the word 'ending' or 'cessation'. :anjali:

alfa
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by alfa » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:05 am

cappuccino wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:00 am
Buddha says to develop the good. And decrease the bad.

Hence, I must strongly disagree.
Read between the lines, then. :anjali:

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cappuccino
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by cappuccino » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:10 am

Whenever with insight he sees
the rise and fall of the aggregates,
he experiences joy and happiness.
To the discerning one this reflects the Deathless.

(Dhp 374)
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Dhammanando
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:43 am

alfa wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:55 am
The above is my interpretation of the dhamma. :anjali: You are free to disagree.
In its treatment of sukha and dukkha your interpretation seems to resemble that of an obscure and long-extinct sect called the Gokulikas. Their view, that "the world is nothing but a heap of cinders", was rejected by the Theravāda at the Third Council.

From the Kathāvatthu Commentary:
The opinion of the Gokulikas, from grasping thoughtlessly the teaching of such Suttas as “All is on fire, bhikkhus!” “All conditioned things are dukkha,” is that all conditioned things are without qualification no better than a welter of embers whence the flames have died out, like an inferno of ashes. To correct this by indicating various forms of happiness, the Theravādin puts the question.
And from the Third Council debate:
Controverted Point: That all conditioned things are absolutely cinderheaps.

Theravādin: You affirm this; but is there not such a thing as pleasurable feeling, bodily pleasure, mental pleasure, celestial happiness, human happiness, the pleasures of gain, of being honoured, of riding-and-driving, of resting, the pleasures of ruling, of administrating, of domestic-and-secular life, of the religious life, pleasures involved in the defilements and pleasures that are not, the happiness of Nibbāna, both while stuff of life remains and when none remains, worldly and spiritual pleasures, happiness with zest and without zest, jhāna-happiness, the bliss of liberty, pleasures of sense-desire, and the happiness of renunciation, the bliss of solitude, of peace, of enlightenment? Of course. How then can you maintain your general affirmation?

Gokulikas: My proposition then is wrong? But was it not said by the Exalted One:

“All is on fire, O bhikkhus! How is everything on fire? The eye is on fire; visible objects, visual consciousness, visual contact and the pleasure, the pain, the neutral feeling therefrom—all is on fire. On fire wherewithal? I tell you, on fire with the fires of passion, hate, and ignorance; with the fires of birth, decay, and death; with the fires of sorrow, lamentation, suffering, grief, and despair. All the field of sense, all the field of mind, all the feeling therefrom is on fire with those fires.”

Surely then all conditioned things are mere cinderheaps absolutely.

Theravādin: But was it not also said by the Exalted One:

“There are these five pleasures of sense, bhikkhus—namely, visible objects seen through the eye as desirable, pleasing, delightful, lovely, adapted to sense-desire, seductive; audible objects, odorous, sapid, tangible objects, desirable, pleasing, delightful, lovely, opposite to sense-desire, seductive” …

Gokulikas: But was it not also said by the Exalted One:

“A gain is yours, O bhikkhus! well have ye won, for ye have discerned the hour for living the religious life. Hells have I seen, bhikkhus, belonging to the six fields of contact. Hereof whatsoever object is seen by the eye is undesired only, not desired; whatsoever object is sensed by ear, smell, taste, touch, mind, is undesired only, not desired; is unpleasant only, not pleasant; is unlovely only, not lovely.”

Theravādin: But was it not also said by the Exalted One:

“A gain is yours, bhikkhus! well have ye won, for ye have discerned the hour for living the religious life. Heavens have I seen, bhikkhus, belonging to the six fields of contact. Hereof whatsoever object is seen by the eye, or otherwise sensed, is desired only, not undesired; is pleasing only, not unpleasing; is lovely only, not unlovely.”

Etc., etc.
The full debate
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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Dhammanando
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by Dhammanando » Tue Feb 12, 2019 2:55 am

alfa wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:55 am
This is probably why the Buddha said, 'I teach about stress and the ending of stress.' He didn't say: I will teach you how to be happy.
The statement,"I teach only dukkha and its cessation", though well-known and oft-quoted, is actually found in only two suttas (and how the sentence should be understood and translated is a point of dispute).

Statements to the effect that Dhamma is taught "for the welfare and happiness of the manyfolk" occur countless times.
“Keep to your own pastures, bhikkhus, walk in the haunts where your fathers roamed.
If ye thus walk in them, Māra will find no lodgement, Māra will find no foothold.”
— Cakkavattisīhanāda Sutta

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budo
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by budo » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:01 am

Happiness derived from sublime pleasures is the least fleeting and most stable happiness, although it is also conditioned and subject to impermenence.

Only nibbana is considered permenent and highest pleasure.

"If someone were to say: 'This is the highest pleasure that can be experienced,' I would not concede that. And why not? Because there is another kind of pleasure which surpasses that pleasure and is more sublime. And what is this pleasure? Here, by completely surmounting the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception, a monk enters upon and abides in the cessation of perception and feeling. This is the other kind of pleasure which surpasses that pleasure and is more sublime.[3]

"It may happen, Ananda, that Wanderers of other sects will be saying this: 'The recluse Gotama speaks of the Cessation of Perception and Feeling and describes it as pleasure. What is this (pleasure) and how is this (a pleasure)?'

"Those who say so, should be told: 'The Blessed One describes as pleasure not only the feeling of pleasure. But a Tathagata describes as pleasure whenever and whereinsoever it is obtained.'"

That is what the Blessed One said. The venerable Ananda was satisfied and delighted in the Blessed One's words.[4]
-MN 59

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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by pegembara » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:27 am

"With regard to those brahmans & contemplatives who are of the view, of the opinion, that 'All is pleasing to me': That view of theirs is close to being impassioned, close to bondage, close to delighting, close to holding, close to clinging. With regard to those brahmans & contemplatives who are of the view, of the opinion, that 'All is not pleasing to me': That view of theirs is close to not being impassioned, close to non-bondage, close to not-delighting, close to not-holding, close to not-clinging."

When this was said, LongNails the wanderer said to the Blessed One, "Master Gotama commends my viewpoint. Master Gotama recommends my viewpoint."

"With regard to those brahmans & contemplatives who are of the view, of the opinion that 'All is not pleasing to me': A wise person among them considers that 'If I were to grasp and insist firmly on this view of mine that "All is not pleasing to me," and to state that "Only this is true, all else is worthless," I would clash with two — the brahman or contemplative who is of the view, of the opinion that "All is pleasing to me" and the brahman or contemplative who is of the view, of the opinion that "A part is pleasing to me; a part is not pleasing to me." I would clash with these two. Where there is a clash, there is dispute. Where there is a dispute, quarreling. Where there is quarreling, annoyance. Where there is annoyance, frustration.' Envisioning for himself clash, dispute, quarreling, annoyance, frustration, he both abandons that view and does not cling to another view. Thus there is the abandoning of these views; thus there is the relinquishing of these views.

"Now, Aggivessana, this body — endowed with form, composed of the four primary elements, born from mother & father, nourished with rice & porridge, subject to inconstancy, rubbing, pressing, dissolution, and dispersion — should be envisioned as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self. In one who envisions the body as inconstant, stressful, a disease, a cancer, an arrow, painful, an affliction, alien, a disintegration, an emptiness, not-self, any desire for the body, attraction to the body, following after the body is abandoned.

"A pleasant feeling is inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to vanishing, fading, ceasing. A painful feeling is also inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to vanishing, fading, ceasing. A neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling is also inconstant, fabricated, dependently co-arisen, subject to ending, subject to vanishing, fading, ceasing.

"Seeing this, an instructed disciple of the noble ones grows disenchanted with pleasant feeling, disenchanted with painful feeling, disenchanted with neither-pleasant-nor-painful feeling. Disenchanted, he grows dispassionate. From dispassion, he is released.
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

"Monks, the All is aflame. What All is aflame? The eye is aflame. Forms are aflame. Consciousness at the eye is aflame. Contact at the eye is aflame. And whatever there is that arises in dependence on contact at the eye — experienced as pleasure, pain or neither-pleasure-nor-pain — that too is aflame. Aflame with what? Aflame with the fire of passion, the fire of aversion, the fire of delusion. Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging & death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, & despairs.

"The ear is aflame. Sounds are aflame...

"The nose is aflame. Aromas are aflame...

"The tongue is aflame. Flavors are aflame...

"The body is aflame. Tactile sensations are aflame...
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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budo
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by budo » Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:48 am

The Buddha's level of pleasure and happiness vs a king's level of pleasure and happiness
"'But, friend Gotama, it's not the case that pleasure is to be attained through pleasure. Pleasure is to be attained through pain. For if pleasure were to be attained through pleasure, then King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha would attain pleasure, for he lives in greater pleasure than you, friend Gotama.'

"'Surely the venerable Niganthas said that rashly and without reflecting... for instead, I should be asked, "Who lives in greater pleasure: King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha or venerable Gotama?"'

"'Yes, friend Gotama, we said that rashly and without reflecting... but let that be. We now ask you, venerable Gotama: Who lives in greater pleasure: King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha or venerable Gotama?'

"'In that case, Niganthas, I will question you in return. Answer as you like. What do you think: Can King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha — without moving his body, without uttering a word — dwell sensitive to unalloyed pleasure for seven days & nights?'

"'No, friend."

"'... for six days & nights... for five days & nights... for a day & a night?'

"'No, friend."

"'Now, I — without moving my body, without uttering a word — can dwell sensitive to unalloyed pleasure for a day and a night... for two days & nights... for three... four... five... six... seven days & nights. So what do you think: That being the case, who dwells in greater pleasure: King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha or me?'

"'That being the case, venerable Gotama dwells in greater pleasure than King Seniya Bimbisara of Magadha.'"
- MN 14

Srilankaputra
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by Srilankaputra » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:08 am

The blessed one HAS defined happiness. When a desiring mortal gets his wishes fulfilled he is happy. But this is like water in your cupped hands. That is the problem.

But when seen with the highest wisdom that there is nothing permanent. Desiring and clinging is given up. There by he has nothing, by way of which suffering can pierce him.
O seeing one,we for refuge go to thee!
O mighty sage do thou our teacher be!

Paccuppannañca yo dhammaṃ,
Tattha tattha vipassati

“Yato yato mano nivāraye,
Na dukkhameti naṃ tato tato;
Sa sabbato mano nivāraye,
Sa sabbato dukkhā pamuccatī”ti.

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Bundokji
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by Bundokji » Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:32 am

I think the problem is that the word "happiness" can be used to describe a wide range of experiences and mental states which are usually perceived as "positive".

The teachings of the Buddha, as i see them, defy categorical answers. I don't think it completely negates worldly happiness, but helps us be aware of its drawbacks and limitations. At the same time, it offers an alternative which focuses more on inner peace and well being as more sublime states of mind.

Buddhism can teach us that being happy all the time is not the ultimate purpose of our existence. In fact, wanting to be happy all the time is one major cause of our misery. This can bring about a change in what we value, so we begin to negate what is harmful and focus more in what is beneficial and wholesome.

If you read the biographies of advanced Buddhist practitioners, they seem to choose some forms of hardship over comfort. If we may use positive terminology, they seem to value virtue and wisdom rather than short term happiness. From that perspective, the happiness of the Buddha seem to be a by-product of being wise and virtuous. To those who believe in it, it is the best possible way of living given the conditions we found ourselves in.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Pondera
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by Pondera » Thu Feb 14, 2019 4:59 am

Dukkha? Sukkha.
What is “rupa” Jhāna? Here are four simple meditations on earth, water, fire, and wind - leading to tranquility and pleasure, rapture and equanimity - peacehttps://drive.google.com/open?id=1sdgpi ... hIz3wgz7ep

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seeker242
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Re: Happiness does NOT exist

Post by seeker242 » Thu Feb 14, 2019 12:34 pm

alfa wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:55 am

This is not just a difference in semantics, is it?
Going with yes, it's just semantics. He taught that nibbana = highest happiness. He taught how to attain nibbana, therefore he taught how to attain highest happiness.

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