Buddhism & Suicide

No holds barred discussion on the Buddhadharma. Argue about rebirth, karma, commentarial interpretations etc. Be nice to each other.

Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Sherab Dorje » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:48 pm

When I went bunjee jumping (the one and only time, when I was travelling in South Africa I see this sign: "Worlds Highest Bunjee Jump" and thought to myself: "It's now or never") the only thing I could say while plummeting off the bridge and watching the river at the bottom of the valley rapidly approaching was: "fraaaaaaaaaackkkkkkk!!!"

I imagine freefall would be even more fun than that! :twothumbsup:
:namaste:
"When one is not in accord with the true view
Meditation and conduct become delusion,
One will not attain the real result
One will be like a blind man who has no eyes."
Naropa - Summary of the View from The Eight Doha Treasures
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby dharmagoat » Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:56 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:I imagine freefall would be even more fun than that! :twothumbsup:

Better than suicide because you can do it over and over without having to go through all that womb business.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby deepbluehum » Mon Jun 25, 2012 9:02 pm

Pursing the void as a purpose is the problem of being an incurable person who conceptualizes emptiness. Being void of purpose is buddhahood.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Simon » Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:49 pm

Being void of purpose is terrifying.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Simon » Sun Jul 01, 2012 4:12 pm

Adumbra posted the magic word "telomere." How about studying telomere repair systems? You must be aware of the work of Dr Elizabeth Blackburn. If you really want your telomere ends to peg out prematurely, this is for you. You might just find it so darned interesting that you elect to live after all!

"Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA."

Don't succumb to nihilism. I did. Road to Nowhere.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Thrasymachus » Mon Jul 02, 2012 9:19 am

If you look at what life has become for people in a society that has widespread computer and internet access it has become an artificial game. People do what they don't want for their whole life to obtain money or for the distant promise of obtaining money in the future(school). This has made our lives into fake, nightmare like abstractions. Most people who you meet pose that they are happy, but when you get to know them on a personal level, they cannot maintain their guard enough to keep up the illusion like they do to people who they only meet once or twice.

I made a thread earlier: Can dharma alone make life worth living? and I related a little about the Piraha tribe who have a total alien societal organization organization, world-view and language to ours, there. Recently I was listening to a talk of Daniel Everett who was the first Westerner to learn their language and popularize their alien civilization:
Daniel Everett wrote:Freakonomics: The Suicide Paradox: Full Transcript
...

I was still a very fervent Christian missionary, and I wanted to tell them how God had changed my life. So, I told them a story about my stepmother and how she had committed suicide because she was so depressed and so lost, for the word depressed I used the word sad. So she was very sad. She was crying. She felt lost. And she shot herself in the head, and she died. And this had a large spiritual impact on me, and I later became a missionary and came to the Piraha because of all of this experience triggered by her suicide. And I told this story as tenderly as I could, and tried to communicate that it had a huge impact on me. And when I was finished everyone burst out laughing.
...

When I asked them why are you laughing, they said: “She killed herself. That’s really funny to us. We don’t kill ourselves. You mean, you people, you white people shoot yourselves in the head?
We kill animals, we don’t kill ourselves.” They just found it absolutely inexplicable, and without precedent in their own experience that someone would kill themselves.


The Buddhist fundamentalists are gonna hate me for this, but if you have to a position on suicide in your society, or religion, it is because your mode of civilization is too fake, and artificial, in a coercive way. One of the interesting things Daniel Everett says is that there over 6000 languages, but most are in danger of going extinct in the next one or two generations. According to him what we need to do is learn and study the languages of the peoples who are closer to extinction because they have a different type of worldview, philosophy and way of relating to the world that we have to learn to from before it is lost. Our civilization is the one of misery, domination and illusion. We already dominated, assimilated and destroyed most ethnic and cultural groups that had a more peaceable and happier internal and external modus-vivendi.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Caz » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:50 am

Dear OP

If you are looking for a Nemesis the only one's to be found are the Self cherishing and Self Grasping minds. :namaste:
Abandoning Dharma is, in the final analysis, disparaging the Hinayana because of the Mahayana; favoring the Hinayana on account of the Mahayana; playing off sutra against tantra; playing off the four classes of the tantras against each other; favoring one of the Tibetan schools—the Sakya, Gelug, Kagyu, or Nyingma—and disparaging the rest; and so on. In other words, we abandon Dharma any time we favor our own tenets and disparage the rest.

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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Simon » Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:11 pm

I don't understand this. The mind is the sixth sense. Surely, one would protect it automatically as one would guard any of the other senses. I feel that - if anyone attacked my eyes - I would protect my eyes. Surely, this is true of Mind. I honestly don't understand.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby undefineable » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:30 pm

Simon wrote:I don't understand this. The mind is the sixth sense. Surely, one would protect it automatically as one would guard any of the other senses. I feel that - if anyone attacked my eyes - I would protect my eyes. Surely, this is true of Mind. I honestly don't understand.


But the desire to protect oneself, in the form of 'self-cherishing', is described as a poison (e.g.@ http://www.berzinarchives.com/web/en/ar ... shing.html), and the Renunciation that says 'I am happy to die' is described as an element of the Path. However, I can't imagine anyone committing suicide if they were convinced the act would painfully damage rather than destroy their minds.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby GarcherLancelot » Fri Jul 06, 2012 11:56 am

Simon wrote:Adumbra posted the magic word "telomere." How about studying telomere repair systems? You must be aware of the work of Dr Elizabeth Blackburn. If you really want your telomere ends to peg out prematurely, this is for you. You might just find it so darned interesting that you elect to live after all!

"Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA."

Don't succumb to nihilism. I did. Road to Nowhere.



What type of nihhilism did you subscribed?
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Adumbra » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:00 am

Simon wrote:
Adumbra posted the magic word "telomere." How about studying telomere repair systems? You must be aware of the work of Dr Elizabeth Blackburn. If you really want your telomere ends to peg out prematurely, this is for you. You might just find it so darned interesting that you elect to live after all!


The part of me that still wants to live wants to live long enough to experience the impact that advanced technology like telomerese will have on humanity. Solomon said there was nothing new under the sun -- but that was before the European enlightenment. But humans haven't changed yet. We're still driven by selfish genes and jungle instincts that have outlived their utility. If humans can achieve physical immortality and chemically/genetically re-engineer their brains for pleasure they may transcend 'samsara' in a very literal sense that Buddha could never have foreseen. Technology could one day free the world from death and all forms of suffering -- but that's only if we stop using our brains to perpetuate these evils.

There are currently 6 scientists on this planet openly investigating the possibility of prolonging human life indefinitey while there are thousands of people in the 'defence' industry dreaming up new ways to kill more people more effectively. So you can see why I'm not optimistic.

GarcherLancelot:
What type of nihhilism did you subscribed?


Ishmaelian Nihilism: "Nothing is true. Everything is permissible."

It is our beliefs which keep us in cages. So much of what people live in, work for, kill for, and die for has no existence outside of their own minds and the minds of fellow dupes/chess pieces. Here's a brief list of the many phantasms that I have struggled to overcome and would like others to stop believing in as well:

* Money
* Morality
* Goblins
* Platonic Essences/ 'The thing in itself'
* Authority
* Nation states
* Santa Claus
* Property rights.
* 'Rights' of any kind
* Death
* Taxes
* Laws
* The invisible spaghetti monster

Ishmaelian nihilism is tha radical rejection of all certainty. It goes beyond mere scepticism, which suspects that there is a truth out there to be discovered, and questions the value of the very concept of truth altogether. Beliefs are chosen for their utility, their survival value, not their truth value. This is true even in science where questions about the nature of the universe and it's laws are ultimately reduced to engineering problems. If a concept helps us make a better machine, then it's true. So negative square roots are 'real' if they help electrical engineers to do their job. The spherical earth theory, combined with Newton's theories of gravitation and motion has allowed human beings to launch satellites into 'orbit', enabling a global communication network to emerge and is therefore a useful theory. But is not necessarily true. The earth could be a relatively flat, spinning disc traveling 'upward' through space at escape velocity with a magnetic core at the north pole, which would result in the same physical laws and observations that we take for granted. Similarly, due to relativity, it can't be said that the earth revolves around the sun anymore than it can be said that the sun revolves around the earth. It's all a matter of utiility.

"What is truth?(that we should have such regard for it)?"
-Pontius Pilate
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby wisdom » Sat Jul 07, 2012 7:35 pm

The bliss you describe is still samsaric. Freedom from suffering means freedom from attachment to the imputation of the subject-object dichotomy generated by the mind. Neither of these are going to be eliminated by bliss inducing drugs and immortality drugs. Otherwise freedom from suffering is simply getting high all the time, which is clearly not the case.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Dave The Seeker » Sat Jul 07, 2012 9:33 pm

How can you not believe in Santa Claus and The invisible spaghetti monster??????? :shrug:
Just asking :stirthepot:

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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby undefineable » Sat Jul 07, 2012 10:36 pm

Adumbra wrote:We're still driven by selfish genes and jungle instincts that have outlived their utility. If humans can achieve physical immortality and chemically/genetically re-engineer their brains for pleasure they may transcend 'samsara' in a very literal sense that Buddha could never have foreseen. Technology could one day free the world from death and all forms of suffering -- but that's only if we stop using our brains to perpetuate these evils.


I don't see any opposition between the words I've italicised and the one I've highlighted in the quote above, and doubt that many others would either - Being pleasure-oriented is still going to be about defending and fortifying the ego, except (I'm led to believe) for tantrikas. I also won't be alone in my hunch that literal immortality is impossible for any being in any time and any place, given the 2'nd law of thermodynamics as well as the nature of all reality as Buddhist teachers have convincingly clarified it.

You may be forgetting that for most of the lifespan of a being in Buddhism's 'god' realm, there is said to be no suffering (atleast not in a form you'd likely recognise), but that this being is still in samsara as it still believes itself to have ultimate substance. In any case, from old age onwards it still has to pay back the debt it owes to the universe from having purchased such perpetual pleasure - which never comes cheap, I guess.

'Evil', to my understanding, is the logical and unavoidable consequence of being an individual sentient being apparently separate from the rest of reality, since if no-one else need concern you, then why on earth should you not destroy them all and reconstitute them as your own expanded self, particularly if the self you are (i.e. have) now appears to be under threat? :twisted: - I don't doubt that you're diagnosably narcissistic, but all this talk of immediate pleasure reminds me of a starry-eyed pre-teenage world before we all discovered bigger and more satisfying fish to fry {Achievement?! Self-development?!}.

Adumbra wrote:
GarcherLancelot:
What type of nihhilism did you subscribed?


Ishmaelian Nihilism: "Nothing is true. Everything is permissible."


No results on Google - I wonder why :roll:

Adumbra wrote:It is our beliefs which keep us in cages. So much of what people live in, work for, kill for, and die for has no existence outside of their own minds and the minds of fellow dupes/chess pieces.


Where you expect anything important to exist outside of your own mind is beyond me; basic feelings such as pleasure and boredom clearly come under this bracket. As Buddhists, we try to bear this reality in mind.

Adumbra wrote:Here's a brief list of the many phantasms that I have struggled to overcome and would like others to stop believing in as well:


Be careful what you wish for - In this day and age many people are probably becoming educated to the fact that money has no reality outside the mind, but the consequences in terms of the global economy are unlikely to be pretty in the short term atleast. {And the long term is of no relevance in the likely event that we fail to survive the short term!} As for Morality, Law, and even Authority, those venomous weapons traditionally used by the weak to cage and even steal the power of the strong, well, I suppose you wouldn't have to worry about suicide then :guns: , but then what of the many who might feel they have something to live for? As a fellow Buddhist and as a thinker, I made it my business to see through the illusions you listed (though I haven't exactly 'struggled to overcome' them :roll: ), except of course for death {I dunno about u, but I don't even want to see my personality continue indefinitely :P }

Adumbra wrote: _ _ radical rejection of all certainty. It goes beyond mere scepticism, which suspects that there is a truth out there to be discovered, and questions the value of the very concept of truth altogether. Beliefs are chosen for their utility, their survival value, not their truth value.


So there are truths but you're ignoring them? :? Fair enough, but then knowing truths in itself also has potential survival value, because they're more likely to have practical uses than lies:

Adumbra wrote:If a concept helps us make a better machine, then it's true.


-If a concept is true, it's more likely to help us make a better machine-

Adumbra wrote:So negative square roots are 'real' if they help electrical engineers to do their job.


-Same goes if our imagined concepts are in line with how the outside world works, which in the case of mathematics should hold true for any conceivable world, given how skeletal, by definition, the concepts involved actually are-

Love your flat earth theory by the way, but it'd still be round, wouldn't it? {It certainly wouldn't be a categorically different reality!}

"What is truth?(that we should have such regard for it)?"

Nothing, just so long as you're happy getting on with whatever it is you're getting on with 8-) {I always thought Pilate pwned Jesus there!}
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Adumbra » Sun Jul 08, 2012 1:05 pm

I don't see any opposition between the words I've italicised and the one I've highlighted in the quote above


I suppose I should have been more specific. There are many nonpleasurable feelings which have survival value. Fear and anger help us defend against enemies. Envy & greed motivate us to take from others and hoard limited resources. I'm interested in constructing new brains that are less prone to these negative emotions. Fear, anger, greed, and envy all have their place in a dangerous world of limited resources where competition is inevitible. But such emotions will have no function is a new world where tenchnology is able to provide basic survival necessities to all. When I speak of pleasure, I mean positive emotions such as love, generosity, and empathy. If you are interested in the possibility of re-engineering the human brain then read The Hedonistic Imperative. The author, David Pearce, is a neurologist who gets into the nitty-gritty of how it would be done.

I also won't be alone in my hunch that literal immortality is impossible for any being in any time and any place, given the 2'nd law of thermodynamics as well as the nature of all reality as Buddhist teachers have convincingly clarified it.


It would certainly be a challenge. In 5 billion years our sun will have used up it's hydrogen supply and go red giant, destroying earth in the process; so anyone who wants to live forever has to make it off the planet (and out of the star system) before that happens. And then there is the eventual heat death of the universe to deal with. Best bet: Find another universe to live in. Personally, I don't think I want to live 5 billion years anyways.

'Evil', to my understanding, is the logical and unavoidable consequence of being an individual sentient being apparently separate from the rest of reality, since if no-one else need concern you, then why on earth should you not destroy them all and reconstitute them as your own expanded self, particularly if the self you are (i.e. have) now appears to be under threat? :twisted:


I don't think it's an unavoidable consequence of individuality, but it is certainly a possibility. The other possibility is to find pleasure in loving the other. After all, if there were no individual beings then there could be no one to love. If God is love then he must have been the ultimate narcissist before we came along. Some will say love is a denial of individualism but I would dispute that. Love is a relationship and for there to be a relationship, there must be something separate to relate to. Who we fall in love with is just as much a reflection of our selfhood as who he end up hating. To love someone, not because we believe this other person is really ourselves, but to realize fully that they are not us -- that they are an individual with their own interests, quirks, good and evil -- that's what makes it beautiful to me. The person I love most in this world isn't anything like me. We're very nearly antipodes. And I think that's what draws me to her. I'm not a narcissist, I'm a xenophile!

I don't doubt that you're diagnosably narcissistic, but all this talk of immediate pleasure reminds me of a starry-eyed pre-teenage world before we all discovered bigger and more satisfying fish to fry {Achievement?! Self-development?!}.


That's why I'm so bored. This society that I live in would have me be content with small, easily won pleasures like a good meal, an entertaining movie, or a good screw. But I want more. I want to transcend my own finitude and become more than human; more than just some hairless primate trapped in it's own skin. If I could have one superpower, it would be shapeshifting.

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
The body is finite, but the mind is infinite.
To be an infinite being trapped in a finite form; that is painful.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby Simon » Sun Jul 08, 2012 3:04 pm

GarcherLancelot wrote:
Simon wrote:Adumbra posted the magic word "telomere." How about studying telomere repair systems? You must be aware of the work of Dr Elizabeth Blackburn. If you really want your telomere ends to peg out prematurely, this is for you. You might just find it so darned interesting that you elect to live after all!

"Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA."

Don't succumb to nihilism. I did. Road to Nowhere.



What type of nihhilism did you subscribed?


Since you ask, I will answer you honestly. Suicide.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby undefineable » Mon Jul 09, 2012 12:50 am

Adumbra wrote:Fear, anger, greed, and envy all have their place in a dangerous world of limited resources where competition is inevitible. But such emotions will have no function is a new world where tenchnology is able to provide basic survival necessities to all. When I speak of pleasure, I mean positive emotions such as love, generosity, and empathy.


And where would the money and resources come from in a world that is rapidly becoming one of no resources at all (forget limited resources) in which all money is legally owed to banks (and therefore bankers)?

Adumbra wrote:If you are interested in the possibility of re-engineering the human brain then read The Hedonistic Imperative. The author, David Pearce, is a neurologist who gets into the nitty-gritty of how it would be done.


I don't think your 'positive' emotions can ever be considered 'cool' (i.e. respected through immediate promotion of survival value) at the level of the balance of power in a society - Think of the 'Summer of Love' along with the years that followed. As such, those who could afford such technologies in some future golden age would not be able to generate sufficient interest in them, and no-one would be able to alter this situation. This doesn't mean I'm a pessimist though - I think the present time presents a window for an elite to forge unprecedented and concrete achievements, none of which will have much to do with emotions any kind. I'm sure this era of history is already under way, since (given the fact that they wouldn't necessarily care for us to know) none of us have any way of knowing the foggiest thing about what the super-rich are up to.

Adumbra wrote:Personally, I don't think I want to live 5 billion years anyways.


:applause:

Seriously though, I've read of longer lifespans in the bottom and top (hell and god) realms.

Adumbra wrote:
'Evil', to my understanding, is the logical and unavoidable consequence of being an individual sentient being apparently separate from the rest of reality, since if no-one else need concern you, then why on earth should you not destroy them all and reconstitute them as your own expanded self, particularly if the self you are (i.e. have) now appears to be under threat? :twisted:


I don't think it's an unavoidable consequence of individuality, but it is certainly a possibility. The other possibility is to find pleasure in loving the other. After all, if there were no individual beings then there could be no one to love.


Both are possibilities which, given the 'law of averages', will play out across each individual lifetime to one extent or another, let alone across billions of individuals. Who can honestly say they've never been able to feel either 'screw everyone, I'm having that' or some kind of love for something or someone?

Adumbra wrote:If God is love then he must have been the ultimate narcissist before we came along.


:twothumbsup:

Adumbra wrote:Some will say love is a denial of individualism but I would dispute that. Love is a relationship and for there to be a relationship, there must be something separate to relate to. Who we fall in love with is just as much a reflection of our selfhood as who he end up hating. To love someone, not because we believe this other person is really ourselves, but to realize fully that they are not us -- that they are an individual with their own interests, quirks, good and evil -- that's what makes it beautiful to me. The person I love most in this world isn't anything like me. We're very nearly antipodes. And I think that's what draws me to her. I'm not a narcissist, I'm a xenophile!


Often, we're drawn to our partners because they take us outside our everyday way of being in a particular way that refreshes us, while at the same time showing us something familiar - I'm also lucky to have (these last few years) a loving partner whose priorities are the inverse of my own; if she were my clone I'd feel no reason to be with her rather than by myself, but if she didn't share the traits in me that I'm comfortable with, I wouldn't know where to start.

However, since Buddhism deals with one's own mind first, those more familiar with outward-looking western religions and philosophies can be disappointed that it seems to put little emphasis on love. Appearances can, of course, be deceptive :sage: - In my quasi-Buddhist understanding, any full-on form of love is (among other things) a penetration of the illusions of solipsism and the affirmation of a wider reality beyond narcissism.

Adumbra wrote: _ I'm so bored. This society that I live in would have me be content with small, easily won pleasures like a good meal, an entertaining movie, or a good screw. But I want more. I want to transcend my own finitude and become more than human; more than just some hairless primate trapped in it's own skin. If I could have one superpower, it would be shapeshifting.


I'm not sure where you live, but as far as I could gather, western society would have its menfolk (at least) content only with living out ideals such as my examples, rather than the kind of pleasures you mentioned, all three of which cost money in any case ;) and therefore not to be purchased with the hedonism which desires them.

You seem to be changing into a similar but polar opposite of your 'original' self as this thread goes on by the way - Earlier on, you sounded as if you were saying basic pleasures (you mentioned meditation) were the only reasons you could think of not to top yourself. In either a Buddhist or a commonsense picture of the world, humans have a dual nature - as heirs of their simpler-brained ancestors' animal instincts, and as sentient beings with a somewhat free-floating 'mental life', like a windsock and its tether. Whether you're being entirely truthful or not is irrelevant, as I can imagine a human being with the two sides to their character (within as well as between stages of his or her life) that you've presented. If you've actually 'worked through neuroses' while 'your' thread's progressed, then :cheers: - I'm sure was at least as 'messed up' (as others have put it to both of us in not so many words) as you when I was your apparent age.

Adumbra wrote:The body is finite, but the mind is infinite.
To be an infinite being trapped in a finite form; that is painful.


My feelings exactly. Renunciation, though, goes further as it recognises how a fixed ego simply couldn't handle a full working-out (sambhogakaya as well as nirmanakaya) of the infinite scope of Mind. This is why this 'desire for enlightenment' lessens along the Path unless we take a wrong turn and end up as a kind of ego bone-yard {Google 'Matam Rudra' :twisted: }.
Last edited by undefineable on Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby undefineable » Mon Jul 09, 2012 1:17 am

Simon wrote:
GarcherLancelot wrote:
Simon wrote:Adumbra posted the magic word "telomere." How about studying telomere repair systems? You must be aware of the work of Dr Elizabeth Blackburn. If you really want your telomere ends to peg out prematurely, this is for you. You might just find it so darned interesting that you elect to live after all!

"Elizabeth Blackburn and the Story of Telomeres: Deciphering the Ends of DNA."

Don't succumb to nihilism. I did. Road to Nowhere.



What type of nihhilism did you subscribed?


Since you ask, I will answer you honestly. Suicide.


Nihilism is defined, in this context, as a doctrine that asserts that you have no meaningful reason to kill yourself, AND no meaningful reason to remain alive.

Suicide in philosophy is mainly associated with the French, since belonging to one of the world's few nations with a mass intellectual culture pushes thinkers to make more use of concepts with obvious popular appeal (in terms of entertainment) than those that expand anyone's understanding of our reality.

Euthanasia might be supported by nihilism, but my views on this subject aren't quite those of Buddhism, which never had to deal (while it was being developed) with the current issues around this scenario.

I feel it's uncompassionate (a neologism according to Spellcheck!) for the majority of us, who are likely to experience dementia and similar conditions, to be expected live out that kind of impromptu karmic prison sentence against their will, courtesy only (and this is the bitterest of ironies) of the advanced wealth and medicine that will have kept us alive long enough to experience it. On the other hand, dementia is currently the most common way, in the west, of experiencing the unreality of ego, since the entire self is of course gradually eviscerated, 'head (i.e. societal functioning) first'.

I'd certainly be more positive about any technology, such as telomerese, that might reverse the current trend for more people to 'live' into old age but fewer to do so with 'sound mind'.
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby undefineable » Mon Jul 09, 2012 2:07 am

Final draft of my last-but one post:

Undefineable wrote:
Adumbra wrote:Fear, anger, greed, and envy all have their place in a dangerous world of limited resources where competition is inevitible. But such emotions will have no function is a new world where tenchnology is able to provide basic survival necessities to all.


And where would the money and resources for this 'provide to' come from in a world that is rapidly becoming one of no resources at all (forget limited resources) in which all money is legally owed to banks (and therefore bankers)?

The all-out competitiveness that I earlier labelled 'evil' (for convenience) is inevitable among all groups of (unenlightened) sentient beings, not just humans - Your listed 'negative' emotions will always have obvious survival to the individual (rather than the theoretical 'group' you must have been thinking about exclusively in order for you to make the above statement), and therefore obvious survival value per se. As such, I don't think your 'positive' emotions can ever be considered 'cool' (i.e. respected through immediate promotion of survival value) at the level of the balance of power in a society, no matter how technology and society may develop - Think of the 'Summer of Love' along with the years that followed. So those who could afford the kind of technologies you describe in some future 'golden age' would not be able to generate sufficient interest in them, and no-one would be able to alter this situation. This doesn't mean I'm a pessimist though - I think the present time presents a window for an elite to forge unprecedented and concrete achievements, none of which (probably) will have much to do with emotions any kind. I'm sure this era of history is already under way, since (given the fact that they wouldn't necessarily care for us to know) none of us have any way of knowing the foggiest thing about what the super-rich are up to.

Adumbra wrote:When I speak of pleasure, I mean positive emotions such as love, generosity, and empathy.


The concept of pleasure doesn't usually bear much relationship with the other concepts you mentioned.

Adumbra wrote:Personally, I don't think I want to live 5 billion years anyways.


:applause:

Seriously though, I've read of longer lifespans in the bottom and top (hell and god) realms.

Adumbra wrote:
'Evil', to my understanding, is the logical and unavoidable consequence of being an individual sentient being apparently separate from the rest of reality, since if no-one else need concern you, then why on earth should you not destroy them all and reconstitute them as your own expanded self, particularly if the self you are (i.e. have) now appears to be under threat? :twisted:


I don't think it's an unavoidable consequence of individuality, but it is certainly a possibility. The other possibility is to find pleasure in loving the other. After all, if there were no individual beings then there could be no one to love.


Both are possibilities which, given the 'law of averages', will play out across each individual lifetime to one extent or another, still more across billions of individuals. Who can honestly say they've never been capable of or open to feeling either "screw everyone, I'm having that", or some kind of love for something or someone?

Adumbra wrote:If God is love then he must have been the ultimate narcissist before we came along.


:twothumbsup:

Adumbra wrote:Some will say love is a denial of individualism but I would dispute that. Love is a relationship and for there to be a relationship, there must be something separate to relate to. Who we fall in love with is just as much a reflection of our selfhood as who he end up hating. To love someone, not because we believe this other person is really ourselves, but to realize fully that they are not us -- that they are an individual with their own interests, quirks, good and evil -- that's what makes it beautiful to me. The person I love most in this world isn't anything like me. We're very nearly antipodes. And I think that's what draws me to her. I'm not a narcissist, I'm a xenophile!


Often, we're drawn to our partners because they take us outside our everyday way of being in a particular way that refreshes us, while at the same time showing us something familiar - I'm also lucky to have (these last few years) a loving partner whose priorities are the inverse of my own; if she were my clone I'd feel no reason to be with her rather than by myself, but if she didn't share the traits in me that I'm comfortable with, I wouldn't know where to start. To "realise fully that they are not us", as you put it, could just end with perceiving nothing at all - Love pushes us towards perceiving an other as clearly as if they were our familiar self, and Buddhism acknowledges that this is possible because all of self and other take place within mind-as-phenomenon.

However, since Buddhism deals with one's own mind first, those more familiar with outward-looking western religions and philosophies can be disappointed that it seems to put little emphasis on love. Appearances can, of course, be deceptive :sage: - In my quasi-Buddhist understanding, any full-on form of love is (among other things) a penetration of the illusions of solipsism and the affirmation of a wider reality beyond narcissism.

Adumbra wrote: _ I'm so bored. This society that I live in would have me be content with small, easily won pleasures like a good meal, an entertaining movie, or a good screw. But I want more. I want to transcend my own finitude and become more than human; more than just some hairless primate trapped in it's own skin. If I could have one superpower, it would be shapeshifting.


I'm not sure where you live, but as far as I could gather, western society would have its menfolk (at least) content only with living out ideals such as my examples, rather than the kind of pleasures you mentioned, all three of which cost money in any case ;) and therefore not to be purchased with the hedonism which desires them.

You seem to be changing into a similar but polar opposite of your 'original' self as this thread goes on by the way - Earlier on, you sounded as if you were saying basic pleasures (you mentioned meditation) were the only reasons you could think of not to top yourself. In either a Buddhist or a commonsense picture of the world, humans have a dual nature - as heirs of their simpler-brained ancestors' animal instincts, and as sentient beings with a somewhat free-floating 'mental life', like a windsock and its tether. Whether you're being entirely truthful or not is irrelevant, as I can imagine a human being with the two sides to their character (within as well as between stages of his or her life) that you've presented. If you've actually 'worked through neuroses' while 'your' thread's progressed, then :cheers: - I'm sure was at least as 'messed up' (as others have put it to both of us in not so many words) as you when I was the age you apparently were when you joined Dharmawheel.

Adumbra wrote:The body is finite, but the mind is infinite.
To be an infinite being trapped in a finite form; that is painful.


My feelings exactly. Renunciation, though, goes further as it recognises how a fixed ego simply couldn't handle a full working-out (sambhogakaya as well as nirmanakaya) of the infinite scope of Mind. This is why this 'desire for enlightenment' lessens along the Path unless we take a wrong turn and end up as a kind of ego bone-yard {Google 'Matam Rudra' :twisted: }
"Removing the barrier between this and that is the only solution" {Chogyam Trungpa - "The Lion's Roar"}
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Re: Buddhism & Suicide

Postby odysseus » Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:16 am

Once, I read this story from kheper.net. I can´t find the article now. The essence I understand was that it was about a follower that had become physically ill, but he was highly enlightened. Shakyamuni had permitted him to commit suicide saying something like: "The brother is well released, but we cannot save him" or something like that. This article is fake, like some say the Angulimala story is fake! I was a bit provoked by that story because any human with some conscience left can know it´s crap.

Suicide is not allowed in Buddhism!!! By the way, suicide is like bullying others too...
The Three Jewels are higher than the ultimate truth. The ultimate truth is conventional wisdom, but enlightenment realisation is transcendent wisdom - the doorway to Nirvana.

-- Tenzin Lhundup
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