Hi, and firstly, apologies for my misguided attempts at syncretism some years back.
Is the goal of the original Buddhism, as I seem to be finding, after hopeful Mahayanan speculation is stripped away, the end of suffering and the end of joy?
Are we giving up eternal conscious struggle, sometimes pleasant, sometimes unpleasant, and in doing so choosing to lose the smooth with the rough? Do we practice the dharma for the final right to die, even if cessation comes after a swansong.
Or is it not as simple as that? Thanks for your help in advance. This is keeping me wobbling and vascillating at the top of the 100 foot pole. I find it easy to see greed, hatred, attachment, as things which should cease. I even see the need to let go of my will to exist at all, and I understand that such a leap must necessarily be made in the dark. But I find it hard in my heart to accept the view that extinction is necessary, that life itself is an error. If it is so, well, I trust in the Buddha's teachings a great deal, and I know suffering, I know that this way leads to greater kindness and tolerance in me where before there was greater irritation and selfishness. That's enough to go on. I guess I've solved my own dilemma.
But it's a big one, choosing to destroy consciousness once and for all, if it is that. Or maybe it's deep like the ocean, without limit. Or maybe we get shiny Dharmakayas after all. Here goes nothing...
Not twice, not three times, not once,
the wheel is turning.