Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

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Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby ananda » Thu Aug 04, 2011 8:17 am

1. In a few books I have read based on Vaishnavite teachings it is said that in Buddhism a soul is not said to exist is this true ?...But if an eternal soul does not exist then what is it that dies and is reborn again and what is the ultimate fate of all sentient-beings ?

2. Someone I met once commented that how he thinks that Buddhism seems to be a more escapist approach to life and he comments on how we should not cease to desire because ceasing to desire would be denying our humanity and to deny our humanity would be to reject life itself. How would I contend with this view ?

3. Does a Buddha cease to accumulate all karma ? I once read how in Jainism a siddha (liberated one) will not help a suffering being because he has gone beyond all desires
"Suffer what there is to suffer, enjoy what there is to enjoy. Regard both suffering and joy as facts of life, and continue chanting Namu-myoho-renge-kyo. no matter what happens. How could this be anything other than the boundless joy of the Law? Strengthen your power of faith more than ever." - Nichiren Daishonin
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby Adamantine » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:09 am

ananda wrote:1. In a few books I have read based on Vaishnavite teachings it is said that in Buddhism a soul is not said to exist is this true ?...But if an eternal soul does not exist then what is it that dies and is reborn again and what is the ultimate fate of all sentient-beings ?




In Buddhism there is not considered to be an "eternal soul", because this is considered a type of false grasping to an idea of permanence. Everything is continuously changing, this is the nature of reality-- a flow of transformation related to cause and effect and interdependence. The "mind" is what continues after death and is reborn, however it is not a solid unchanging entity-- rather it is like a river-- there is a continuity, a flow, but it is never the same as it was even a moment before. . . our thoughts and actions are part of this flow and determine it as well-- the momentum of habitual tendencies that lead to suffering or alternatively powerful spiritual impressions that can help lead us upstream against the current and back to our Buddha nature, the wisdom mind that is the true potential of all beings.

2. Someone I met once commented that how he thinks that Buddhism seems to be a more escapist approach to life and he comments on how we should not cease to desire because ceasing to desire would be denying our humanity and to deny our humanity would be to reject life itself. How would I contend with this view ?


Buddhism is not escapist, it is realistic. There is a different "Buddhism" for various peoples capacities or tendencies. Some need to renounce everything externally, which may appear as a form of escape but it is actually a practical approach given circumstances. Then there is the Vajrayana approach which is to bring the emotions such as desire, and anger onto the path, not rejecting anything. So this person you met knew very little about Buddhism, they were speaking out of ignorance.
Contentment is the ultimate wealth;
Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby Malcolm » Thu Aug 04, 2011 1:17 pm

ananda wrote:1. In a few books I have read based on Vaishnavite teachings it is said that in Buddhism a soul is not said to exist is this true ?...But if an eternal soul does not exist then what is it that dies and is reborn again and what is the ultimate fate of all sentient-beings ?

2. Someone I met once commented that how he thinks that Buddhism seems to be a more escapist approach to life and he comments on how we should not cease to desire because ceasing to desire would be denying our humanity and to deny our humanity would be to reject life itself. How would I contend with this view ?

3. Does a Buddha cease to accumulate all karma ? I once read how in Jainism a siddha (liberated one) will not help a suffering being because he has gone beyond all desires


1: Buddha taught that there was a conventional person, but no eternal soul or self. Since rebirth occurs on a conventional level, there is no contradiction between the non-existence of an eternal soul and rebirth. What take rebirth is a impermanent, momentary consciousness driven by ignorance.

2: That person does not understand Buddhism and does not understand the meaning of happiness. True happiness comes from being free from all bonds. Desire is a bond.

3: The Buddha ceases to engage in negative actions that bear a future result. All actions of a Buddha bear a positive result.

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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby Karma Dondrup Tashi » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:08 pm

Ultimately nothing is reborn. Conventionally, I am reborn.

:smile:
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby LastLegend » Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:40 pm

ananda wrote:1. In a few books I have read based on Vaishnavite teachings it is said that in Buddhism a soul is not said to exist is this true ?...But if an eternal soul does not exist then what is it that dies and is reborn again and what is the ultimate fate of all sentient-beings ?


Personification of self does not exist. However, there is original nature which is empty. You can call it true self but most people will object to self because self means a personification.
2. Someone I met once commented that how he thinks that Buddhism seems to be a more escapist approach to life and he comments on how we should not cease to desire because ceasing to desire would be denying our humanity and to deny our humanity would be to reject life itself. How would I contend with this view ?


Buddhism is to correct the way we think and the way we do things as these bring us suffering.

3. Does a Buddha cease to accumulate all karma ? I once read how in Jainism a siddha (liberated one) will not help a suffering being because he has gone beyond all desires


Buddha did not invent karma and Buddha cannot surpass karma. Because of cultivation, enlightened beings such as Bodhisattvas can obtain looks and merits to become Buddhas. Look at the 3 bodies.
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby Sherab Dorje » Thu Aug 04, 2011 3:28 pm

ananda wrote:3. Does a Buddha cease to accumulate all karma ? I once read how in Jainism a siddha (liberated one) will not help a suffering being because he has gone beyond all desires
Desire is about wanting to hump a suffering being, compassion is about wanting to help a suffering being. Buddhas are beyond desire, they ARE pure compassion.
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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: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby Adamantine » Thu Aug 04, 2011 6:57 pm

gregkavarnos wrote:Desire is about wanting to hump a suffering being


:rolling:

That's a typically male desire, a woman's desire may be more nuanced :!:
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby adinatha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:05 pm

ananda wrote:1. In a few books I have read based on Vaishnavite teachings it is said that in Buddhism a soul is not said to exist is this true ?...But if an eternal soul does not exist then what is it that dies and is reborn again and what is the ultimate fate of all sentient-beings ?

2. Someone I met once commented that how he thinks that Buddhism seems to be a more escapist approach to life and he comments on how we should not cease to desire because ceasing to desire would be denying our humanity and to deny our humanity would be to reject life itself. How would I contend with this view ?

3. Does a Buddha cease to accumulate all karma ? I once read how in Jainism a siddha (liberated one) will not help a suffering being because he has gone beyond all desires


Buddhism has a concept of a dualistic ignorant mind that is reborn, potentially forever, if it does not realize the truth. The truth is that this mind is a collection of aggregates, sight, sound, etc., that is constantly changing due to the truth of impermanence, like a flowing river. Because this mind has parts that change, this mind can be transformed from an ignoramous to an enlightened being. If it were eternal and changeless this would be impossible.

Buddhism is the path par excellence of face reality. One must study the path to understand why this is so.

A buddha is a buddha because he or she has transcended the fruit of karma. A buddha becomes a buddha precisely because a buddha does not forsake even a single sentient being and has fulfilled a vow to that effect. So a buddha is a positive fruit.
Last edited by adinatha on Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby adinatha » Thu Aug 04, 2011 7:07 pm

Adamantine wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Desire is about wanting to hump a suffering being


:rolling:

That's a typically male desire, a woman's desire may be more nuanced :!:


She wants to hug first.
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby Adamantine » Thu Aug 04, 2011 9:19 pm

adinatha wrote:
Adamantine wrote:
gregkavarnos wrote:Desire is about wanting to hump a suffering being


:rolling:

That's a typically male desire, a woman's desire may be more nuanced :!:


She wants to hug first.


Or just hug!
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Detachment is the final happiness. ~Sri Saraha
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby mudra » Fri Aug 05, 2011 12:59 am

Now I'm confused: so Buddhism is about hugging? or about being a woman?
Dang! all those years of study...

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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby ronnewmexico » Fri Aug 05, 2011 1:24 am

I am certainly no expert on Jainism but will state a little bit of things that seem to be true about it.

In Jainism there are those who have achieved enlightenment but are teachers. Called these are tirthankar. The last one was thought to have been around roughly when the buddha was around.
Arihants are those who are enlightened but still in human form so they may be accesible to us as human. They teach things.
Those who have attained enlightenment but are not in a human form and realized are not trying not to help people or some such things.... lacking desires to do such things in a human sense but have not the means for contact. Being seperate from us.

Jains do not believe in a godhead or somesuch but are strict vegetarian, believe in complete nonviolence and are believers in a eternal soul.
It is my opinion that most western buddhists are following jainism rather than what they think is buddhism by concept..but that is a personal opinion.
It seems that buddhism and jainism both coexisted at the time of the buddha. There by my take are several points then made clear in buddhism that serve as source of differentiation.....strict vegetarianism and strict nonviolence may be two of those differentiations by my take. No soul and dependant origination no inherant existant things may be some on the buddhist side.
In any event I would suspect jains little abscribe to a view that one once enlightened becomes noncompassionate. It is that when one is enlightened one can have no common basis which allows for communication I suppose. Otherwise how would arihants andtirthankaras both teach...that would not happen, both are enlightened yet teach.

Very similiar are they in other things. Like buddhism there are several forms so some difference may be found amongst schools.
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby meiji1 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:35 am

#2 is very common. I had a philosophy professor who constantly argued that point in reference to Buddhism. He described enlightenment as a kind of psychological nihilism in which everything, good and bad, is drained of meaning. How should you give a response to that? I feel that mine is lousy.
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby LastLegend » Fri Aug 05, 2011 2:55 am

meiji1 wrote:#2 is very common. I had a philosophy professor who constantly argued that point in reference to Buddhism. He described enlightenment as a kind of psychological nihilism in which everything, good and bad, is drained of meaning. How should you give a response to that? I feel that mine is lousy.


He has to study Buddhism to really understand because he is currently using his own ideas of what Buddhism is. That's what you should tell him.
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby meiji1 » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:44 pm

He's a stubborn guy, I wouldn't count on him to investigate Buddhism on his own. I want to find a self-contained reply.
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby adinatha » Fri Aug 05, 2011 7:55 pm

meiji1 wrote:He's a stubborn guy, I wouldn't count on him to investigate Buddhism on his own. I want to find a self-contained reply.


Don't bother. Go to undeniables. All phenomena are impermanent, because they are composite. When you know that you realize emptiness. What's the benefit? Profound bliss.
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby hairybeast » Fri Aug 05, 2011 9:11 pm

ananda wrote:1. In a few books I have read based on Vaishnavite teachings it is said that in Buddhism a soul is not said to exist is this true ?...But if an eternal soul does not exist then what is it that dies and is reborn again and what is the ultimate fate of all sentient-beings ?


You could say "Soul" is not a permanent self. Using the term exist, the soul can't exist with in Samsara unless it has a host ( body ) .

So Buddhist definition of soul does not exist.

I think Buddhist texts call it Conscience continum .


Fate of all beings trapped in Samsara is Birth, Aging, sickness, Death rebirth.

even the state of "Infinite death" is Samsara bound, and therefore follows the laws of Rebirth.

Even the state of "Infinite Life" or something like the heavenly realms IE reborn as a Deva, will not last forever and still bound by laws of Samsara .

Nirvana is not bound by Samsara, Notions like everlasting Life, never ending Death are not Nirvana .
in Human Language we call it Permanent Bliss free from Samsara etc.

ananda wrote:2. Someone I met once commented that how he thinks that Buddhism seems to be a more escapist approach to life and he comments on how we should not cease to desire because ceasing to desire would be denying our humanity and to deny our humanity would be to reject life itself. How would I contend with this view ?


Buddhism is far from an escapist approach .

More less you could contend with this view by saying Buddhism in regards to Humanity is about what needs to be done rather then what one wants to be done with it.

all Humans need food, shelter, water, clothes needed for maintaining their lively hood, Beliefs

a lot of Humans Want, Best food $ can buy, best water $ can buy, Best clothes $ can buy, Best cars $ can buy, Biggest House $ can buy, lots of other wants like a star named after them etc.

The pleasures of our world will bring temporary joy but it will pass, this does not mean if someone bought you idk a ferarri you would reject it coz its not needed. accept it and maybe sell it to get a cheaper car and use some of the cash to help someone in need etc.


ananda wrote:3. Does a Buddha cease to accumulate all karma ? I once read how in Jainism a siddha (liberated one) will not help a suffering being because he has gone beyond all desires


Buddha's stop accumulating Karma, their liberated and free from it.

That siddha prolly just didn't see any need to help anyone . Prolly they were thinking, everything they need to be Enlightened was right in front of them, their price they pay for not seeking it out . Maybe next life they will .

An Enlightened Buddhist vs an enlightened Jain are most likely gonna have a different thought process so to speak.

From what i read on Jainism few yrs back.

Jainism ,they pull out their hair with their hands to conquer pain.
they won't walk on grass ( something like that) so they won't kill insects.
They won't eat certain kinds of Veggies .
, they won't eat seeds ( that 1 seed they eat could of gave life to 100 more )
some Jains don't brush their teeth due to killing innocent bacteria
they only have sex when they are trying to conceive a child, due to millions of sperm lose their life .


Where as Buddhist teachings *MIGHT* say a lot of the stuff on Jainism is considered an Extreme .

Jainism might say how can one be extremely compassionate in regards to killing .

Both Mahavira & Gautema Buddha attained Enlightenment .

btw mate i mentioned the soul due to your Jain references in the thread.
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Re: Escapism,Buddhism, and the Soul

Postby catmoon » Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:30 am

If Buddha had no desires, why did he teach?
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