padma norbu wrote:I'm talking about the basic underlying ideas in a cold, clinical manner. Like Spock. Yes, we are talking about dissatisfaction, but let's talk about it in a cold, clinical way, as if we are trying to stop certain chemical agents from crystalizing.
Now, if we can stop them from crystalizing at stage 1 in the process where previously we had almost immediate flash-crystallization, we would be happy. But, if by the end of stage 3 crystallization occurs, anyway, near the very end of our 3-stage procedure, then we would say this process is not really working how we want since it only extends the period of time that crystallization doesn't occur..
I appreciate that my style may not be helpful. Thank you for soldiering on with me despite that
Let's not forget that cold, clinical thoughts remain thoughts. They have the same limitations as any other thought. At some point, you have to look up from the map and explore for yourself.
If things were entirely as you describe them, there would be no point in practicing the Precepts. The Precepts are simultaneously a cessation of creating more bad karma, and an imitation of behavior congruous to our innate Buddha-nature. Doing as Buddha and being as Buddha are the same thing. You can condition the subtler points of mind through outward actions and choices.
How this relates to your point is that we are all
already in stage 3, otherwise we would not be compelled to practice by the suffering in our lives. This suggests that the point of the Precepts is not to somehow undo this suffering. Despite what we may want to get rid of in striving for nirvana, nirvana is right under our noses in the same garbage we call suffering. We can cherish life while we die, speak gently while we are ridiculed. This is where Buddhism is different than other religions: the point is not to revert to stage 1, nor to achieve something better than stage 3
. All stages are ultimately the same in terms of our enlightenment.
Using your metaphor, we accept that we have allowed crystallization to a huge degree in our lives. Then we stop the struggle, the friction creating still more crystals. It is this constant thrashing about in our lives, in creating bad karma, troublesome mental knots, etc., that prevents Right View and therefore the entire path. Holding to our ideas about nirvana/samsara prevents nirvana and ensures samsara. Our usual methodology itself is wrong... that is what's meant by "stop thinking."
Also, the Buddhas that you suggest would be destroyed would not mind being destroyed
, so there is no issue. To say that the eventual destruction of the universe makes the whole exercise pointless is to use one thought to describe experience of countless beings, including your own. The thought gives a feeling that it is basic and above reproach. But if it causes doubt and suffering, then look at the framework of assumptions that gave rise to that thought. Don't just leave it at that. Like I said, that would be like letting yesterday's lunch impede your spiritual progress.
You're getting into day-to-day happiness, which is irrelevant to me.
We are day-to-day beings. It only seems irrelevant when our thoughts take us into utter abstraction.
The next time you feel anger or physical pain, ask what the end of the universe has to do with that moment. It is good to explore and question the dharma mentally. It is better to see for yourself.
I hope this was helpful in some way.
Please take the above post with a grain of salt.