Spirit vs flesh

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Spirit vs flesh

Postby Music » Sun Aug 26, 2012 2:58 pm

In Gnosticism, it is matter vs consciousness. We are conscious beings trapped in a material cage, namely the body, and we have to be free of it. But in Buddhism, consciousness is just an emergent property of matter. No duality.

But in our experience, doesn't the flesh always create hurdles? With a sick body, it is so hard to meditate. While maintaining the body through work etc., one rarely finds the time to practice dharma. Almost all problems can be traced to the flesh, yet in buddhism it is always the mind which gets the blame (even though the mind is creative, whereas the flesh is not). For instance, it is easy to have many sublime thoughts but because of the body, which limits us in multiple ways, it is so hard to translate those thoughts to reality.

A person with locked in syndrome ... he may have all kinds of noble ideas but his body has made sure that his life is going to be hell on earth, so much so that recently a person literally begged for death. As one can see, the body and only the body acts as a prison, traps us, and makes us miserable. Yet Buddhism focuses too much on the mind, why?
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Re: Spirit vs flesh

Postby Indrajala » Sun Aug 26, 2012 4:37 pm

Music wrote:A person with locked in syndrome ... he may have all kinds of noble ideas but his body has made sure that his life is going to be hell on earth, so much so that recently a person literally begged for death. As one can see, the body and only the body acts as a prison, traps us, and makes us miserable. Yet Buddhism focuses too much on the mind, why?


The mind is the source of physical existence. The root of physical existence is the mind. Our body is a result of "old karma" matured, ripened and now coarse.

As for the locked-in syndrome you are speaking of, it is a form of mental starvation. Beings require coarse food, but also require something called "consciousness food", which is something like mental and sensory substance. Not having adequate access to "consciousness food" results in mental starvation.

Incidentally, in the cosmology there are states of existence that are made up of only mental aggregates, but such states are likewise impermanent and suffering.
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