Is Buddhism hopeless?

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Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Epistemes » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:45 pm

Buddhists believe in rebirth. Buddhists also claim that there is no chronological first beginning to the series of past lives. We have all of us been reborn an infinite number of times. No God is needed to start the series off – for there simply was no first beginning. Things have been around (somewhere) for all eternity.

If rebirth is true, realistically we really have no hope. It is a hopeless doctrine.

I cannot imagine being reborn as a stinkbug precisely because there is nothing to imagine. I quite simply would not be there at all. If rebirth is true, neither I nor any of my loved ones survive death. With rebirth, for me – the actual person I am – the story really is over. There may be another being living its life in some sort of causal connection with the life that was me (influenced by my karma), but for me there is no more. There is no more to be said about me.

If Buddhism is correct, then unless I attain enlightenment or something like it in this lifetime, I have no hope. Clearly, I am not going to attain enlightenment in this life. Many of you will be inclined to accept that as true about myself and about your own enlightenment, as well, since enlightenment is a supreme and extremely rare achievement - not for the likes of someone like me. So I and all my friends and family have in themselves no hope. More than that, from a Buddhist perspective, in the scale of infinite time, the significance of each of us as such, as the person we currently are, converges on nothing - for each of us lives our lives and then perishes. Then we're lost forever.

Again, if rebirth is true, we really have no hope. It is a hopeless doctrine.
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Josef » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:49 pm

This post is an example of exactly what is to be overcome and a pretty good lesson in itself.
Your view above is entrenched in self-clinging.
Both hope and fear are nothing but symptoms of the disease.
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:55 pm

Epistemes wrote:Clearly, I am not going to attain enlightenment in this life.


Sez who?
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Chaz » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:02 pm

Epistemes wrote:If rebirth is true, realistically we really have no hope. It is a hopeless doctrine.


If that's what you think, then that's what it is.

For you it's hopeless.
For you it's meaningless.
For you it's pointless.

We get it.

Can we move on now?
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Epistemes » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:24 pm

Chaz wrote:
Epistemes wrote:If rebirth is true, realistically we really have no hope. It is a hopeless doctrine.


If that's what you think, then that's what it is.

For you it's hopeless.
For you it's meaningless.
For you it's pointless.

We get it.

Can we move on now?


You're about as useful as a compliment from a whore.
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Chaz » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:33 pm

Epistemes wrote:
Chaz wrote:
Epistemes wrote:If rebirth is true, realistically we really have no hope. It is a hopeless doctrine.


If that's what you think, then that's what it is.

For you it's hopeless.
For you it's meaningless.
For you it's pointless.

We get it.

Can we move on now?


You're about as useful as a compliment from a whore.


Are you serious? I'm merely agreeing with you.

As you've repeatedly demonstrated, Buddhism is meaningless, pointless and hopeless to you and for you I must admint that it is so. You have demonstrated this so thoroughly that I'd say it's impossible for anyone on this board to deny the obvious - that you don't really get Buddhism. There's nothing really left to say on the matter, so can we please move on?

Or would you rather people here try some obsequeous BS to try and convince you of the error in your view?
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:45 pm

Epistemes wrote:
Chaz wrote:
Epistemes wrote:If rebirth is true, realistically we really have no hope. It is a hopeless doctrine.


If that's what you think, then that's what it is.

For you it's hopeless.
For you it's meaningless.
For you it's pointless.

We get it.

Can we move on now?


You're about as useful as a compliment from a whore.


In the meantime, apart from all the hand-wringing about existential issues, you should do something spiritually useful that requires no beliefs in anything whatsover.

Yoga. There are several yoga studios where you live.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Epistemes » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:47 pm

Chaz wrote:Are you serious? I'm merely agreeing with you.

As you've repeatedly demonstrated, Buddhism is meaningless, pointless and hopeless to you and for you I must admint that it is so. You have demonstrated this so thoroughly that I'd say it's impossible for anyone on this board to deny the obvious - that you don't really get Buddhism. There's nothing really left to say on the matter, so can we please move on?

Or would you rather people here try some obsequeous BS to try and convince you of the error in your view?


You'd be amazed at how much about Buddhism I do get, especially for being at it for only three months. You act like I should be a goddamn scholar. Quit being so judgmental every time I post something that expresses doubt. It doesn't mean that I can't answer these doubts on my own or that Buddhism has no value for me. The last time I checked, this is a forum and people engage in discussion. I'm offering a topic of discussion. Jesus Christ, man.
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Malcolm » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:53 pm

Epistemes wrote:Buddhists believe in rebirth. Buddhists also claim that there is no chronological first beginning to the series of past lives. We have all of us been reborn an infinite number of times. No God is needed to start the series off – for there simply was no first beginning. Things have been around (somewhere) for all eternity.

If rebirth is true, realistically we really have no hope. It is a hopeless doctrine.

I cannot imagine being reborn as a stinkbug precisely because there is nothing to imagine. I quite simply would not be there at all. If rebirth is true, neither I nor any of my loved ones survive death. With rebirth, for me – the actual person I am – the story really is over. There may be another being living its life in some sort of causal connection with the life that was me (influenced by my karma), but for me there is no more. There is no more to be said about me.

If Buddhism is correct, then unless I attain enlightenment or something like it in this lifetime, I have no hope. Clearly, I am not going to attain enlightenment in this life. Many of you will be inclined to accept that as true about myself and about your own enlightenment, as well, since enlightenment is a supreme and extremely rare achievement - not for the likes of someone like me. So I and all my friends and family have in themselves no hope. More than that, from a Buddhist perspective, in the scale of infinite time, the significance of each of us as such, as the person we currently are, converges on nothing - for each of us lives our lives and then perishes. Then we're lost forever.

Again, if rebirth is true, we really have no hope. It is a hopeless doctrine.


Yes, Buddhism is a hopeless doctrine. Hope is bullshit. It's just the other face of fear. Joe is right, incidentally, your comments here are an expression of intense grasping at identity. Your identity is a conceptual fiction. You are attached to a delusion.
http://www.bhaisajya.net
http://atikosha.org
འ༔ ཨ༔ ཧ༔ ཤ༔ ས༔ མ༔

" The one who teaches the benefits of peace,
he is said to be a ṛṣī; the others are the opposite of him."

-- Uttaratantra
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby booker » Wed Oct 12, 2011 4:59 pm

Epistemes wrote:Clearly, I am not going to attain enlightenment in this life.

Clearly you can work your ass not to attin it in this life, but in reality it's up to you.

Epistemes wrote:If Buddhism is correct, then unless I attain enlightenment or something like it in this lifetime, I have no hope.

Not really you have to do in this life and if not then you're doomed. It's not that. If we do practice this life, next life gets easier, and so on.


Epistemes wrote:There may be another being living its life in some sort of causal connection with the life that was me (influenced by my karma), but for me there is no more. There is no more to be said about me.

Yes and no. We don't remeber past lifes up to certain point we train, that's true. We can believe we are not the persons we were in past lifes, nor we think in future lifes it will be "us" as we are now, we won't be. Same we are not entirely the persons we were as children and teenagers. But this doesn't mean the karma we do this life (and we did in past lifes) won't influence the future lifes, where "me" will be a thinking of self having a different body. It will. We will again think "me". This "me" thinking will bear past karma, and obtain it's results.

To sum up, rebirth is a very painful process, but it's not hopeless. Preciselly teachings of Buddha aim first place in cutting this process. How it could be hopeless then?
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby AlexanderS » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:12 pm

What other religion, spiritual tradition or philosophy if they were true would provide you hope and in what way?
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby dakini_boi » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:16 pm

Epistemes:

I disagree with those who would say that you're not understanding Buddhism. Your understanding is probably deeper than many who call themselves Buddhists.

As Chogyam Trungpa said: “I have some good news and some bad news about reincarnation. The good news is that it happens. The bad news is that it never happens to you.”

Buddhism isn't hopeless. Samsara is hopeless - because to cling to the idea of a truly existing self from lifetime to lifetime is just as meaningless as to cling to the idea of a self which truly exists from moment to moment. You really are starting to get it, and that's why you're feeling hopeless. It's a good sign.

Read Chogyam Trungpa's book Crazy Wisdom. He talks about hopelessness in great detail. In fact, I found it difficult to read because I would rather read about deities and pure lands. But given your current process, I think you will find it useful and illuminating.
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby LastLegend » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:26 pm

If you are honest about inquiring knowledge or experience, then Buddhism is not bad to start off with. Keep in mind that if you want answers, you must be open and objective. This means you have to leave your biases behind and investigate honestly.
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Acchantika » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:30 pm

Epistemes wrote:It is a hopeless doctrine.


You don't get to vote on the structure of a cell if you don't look down the microscope. Those are the rules.

Don't just philosophize. Be a scientist, do the experiments.

Don't believe, don't have faith, don't do judgement. Do the experiments. Test everything in practice not just theory.

Then observe if you are more hopeful, peaceful, aware, compassionate, enlightened, understanding, happy, unified, calm, rational.
...
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Epistemes » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:40 pm

dakini_boi wrote:Read Chogyam Trungpa's book Crazy Wisdom. He talks about hopelessness in great detail. In fact, I found it difficult to read because I would rather read about deities and pure lands. But given your current process, I think you will find it useful and illuminating.


The great thing about Kindle is that someone says: you should read this, and I can go, buy it and start reading instantly. :thumbsup:
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby withywindel » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:42 pm

I think you understand Buddhism very well, and so I am suggesting that you check out other religions that teach a soul. But being reborn as a stinkbug may not be so bad, just different.
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Epistemes » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:44 pm

Acchantika wrote:Don't believe, don't have faith, don't do judgement. Do the experiments. Test everything in practice not just theory.

Then observe if you are more hopeful, peaceful, aware, compassionate, enlightened, understanding, happy, unified, calm, rational.


I think I'm a better person now than I ever was as a Catholic, and I was a damn fine Catholic. I mean, heck, I was inches away from signing up with the Trappists. :lol:

I know I have a LONG way to go in my quest and a lot of experiments to conduct. Thank you.
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby LastLegend » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:50 pm

Epistemes wrote:Buddhists believe in rebirth. Buddhists also claim that there is no chronological first beginning to the series of past lives. We have all of us been reborn an infinite number of times. No God is needed to start the series off – for there simply was no first beginning. Things have been around (somewhere) for all eternity.


I hope you are ready for what I am about to say.

It is common for people to seek comfort in an existence of a high power to feel meaningful, secure, and that they have a place to go to after death.

It makes sense that we are responsible for our thinking and behavior. If you think good, then it will manifests in that through mental reactions and behavior. If you think negative, then it will manifests in that.

If rebirth is true, realistically we really have no hope. It is a hopeless doctrine.

I cannot imagine being reborn as a stinkbug precisely because there is nothing to imagine. I quite simply would not be there at all. If rebirth is true, neither I nor any of my loved ones survive death. With rebirth, for me – the actual person I am – the story really is over. There may be another being living its life in some sort of causal connection with the life that was me (influenced by my karma), but for me there is no more. There is no more to be said about me.


Buddhism can be cruel. But if you investigate honestly and accept things as they are, you will not suffer as much. The reason why you said it is hopeless is because you are hopeful for something. This is emotional.

If Buddhism is correct, then unless I attain enlightenment or something like it in this lifetime, I have no hope. Clearly, I am not going to attain enlightenment in this life. Many of you will be inclined to accept that as true about myself and about your own enlightenment, as well, since enlightenment is a supreme and extremely rare achievement - not for the likes of someone like me. So I and all my friends and family have in themselves no hope. More than that, from a Buddhist perspective, in the scale of infinite time, the significance of each of us as such, as the person we currently are, converges on nothing -
for each of us lives our lives and then perishes
. Then we're lost forever.

Again, if rebirth is true, we really have no hope. It is a hopeless doctrine.


If you look at things objectively, we mentally, socially, and emotionally construct relationships to objects and human beings. Then we act upon these constructs all of our life heavily mentally and emotionally invested until death comes. Cruel as it is, nevertheless true-we live our lives and then perishes...it is a vicious cycle, a maze.

Accepting things as you see them is important.
Last edited by LastLegend on Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby Epistemes » Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:56 pm

withywindel wrote:I am suggesting that you check out other religions that teach a soul. But being reborn as a stinkbug may not be so bad, just different.


I know all about the soul. I am well-versed in what Judaism, Christianity and Islam say about the soul, and I have some limited experience with Hinduism. I am more inclined to believe we're fertilizer than to believe in a permanent soul.

The thing which we all wrestle with is the death of our loved ones. Especially if you're strongly attached like me. You spend countless hours and dollars with them and on them, all of which has the appearance of meaning, and then it's over one way or another. I understand the Buddhist premise that we should be more emotionally available to all beings and not limited in our loving-kindness, but, while not impossible, it doesn't necessarily completely dispense with certain attachments that we're naturally going to have with our loved ones. But what do I know? I'm afflictively attached to people in my life, to myself, to "my world," and so much more, and I probably have accumulated only about 45 total hours on the cushion.
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Re: Is Buddhism hopeless?

Postby LastLegend » Wed Oct 12, 2011 6:01 pm

Epistemes wrote:
withywindel wrote:I am suggesting that you check out other religions that teach a soul. But being reborn as a stinkbug may not be so bad, just different.


I know all about the soul. I am well-versed in what Judaism, Christianity and Islam say about the soul, and I have some limited experience with Hinduism. I am more inclined to believe we're fertilizer than to believe in a permanent soul.

The thing which we all wrestle with is the death of our loved ones. Especially if you're strongly attached like me. You spend countless hours and dollars with them and on them, all of which has the appearance of meaning, and then it's over one way or another. I understand the Buddhist premise that we should be more emotionally available to all beings and not limited in our loving-kindness, but, while not impossible, it doesn't necessarily completely dispense with certain attachments that we're naturally going to have with our loved ones. But what do I know? I'm afflictively attached to people in my life, to myself, to "my world," and so much more, and I probably have accumulated only about 45 total hours on the cushion.


We will always be attached in one way or another until we are enlightened.
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