Hello I am new to this philosophy & religion. I have always been a 'philosopher' and very analytic so i find myself thinking and thinking over the Buddhist ideas. Specially, as you can tell from the heading, on Desire and Attachment. I read that attachment means a cclinging to some idea, object, teaching, etc. I want to specifically talk about something that came to my mind... I am not saying i am right or that i am wrong, i'm very open minded and i want to understand.
Hi there and welcome!
It's quite natural that now and then you feel right about what is wrong and wrong about what is right. Don't let that hinder your participation cause none of us do!
If I had an euro for each time I said something wrong while being quite confident it was right, I would be a rich man.
Alright, I have seen that attachment which in clinging, causes suffering. So if a person for example aims to achieve wealth, prestige, an education, do music etc. These are all desires without any doubt, most people will cling to these ideals, but is it alright to desire such things without clinging to them (according to your Buddhism understanding). So if they do not manifest, most people will be hurt since their 'future' has been crushed, but how about if the individual desires/aspires to achieve something but does not cling, so if their goals fail they do not suffer. They simply let everything take their course simple as that.
Imagine there was a state of absolute knowledge, luminosity, radiance and plenitude. A state of non duality without afflictions whatsoever, either cognitive of emotional, experiencing reality as it is. This would be enlightenment. Anything less than this means that there is a stain. This is the destination, the goal of the practice.
The first mental "poison" is called ignorance (avidya), and precedes desire, craving (trishna) or "thirst". This said, you can immediately understand that the problem lies deeper than simply wanting things. When we experience desire we are already suffering from that lack of plenitude, that dissatisfaction with the present experience we live in. So we suffer from both cognitive and emotional afflictions. Cognitive because we are already caught in duality desiring for an object we believe to be external and emotional because we feel dissatisfaction with our situation.
Let's move backwards from your initial proposition. You see the problem as being clinging, a sort of obsessive desire. That's correct. If we dig a little more, we discover that the objects we desire in fact only provide a temporary form of happiness. They are impermanent and, perhaps more important, our desire for them is also impermanent. Nothing ever completely satisfies us, because nothing can fill that hole of lack of plenitude. Only enlightenment and as you probably figured out by now, enlightenment is not a thing
he can have. So we lose interest in everything we gain given enough time, like someone who quits a remedy that isn't working.
So we step down another level. We had the 1st -clinging - the 2nd -objects we crave are not stable and permanent sources of happiness - and 3rd -the fact that we desire due to a mysterious and pervading lack of plenitude that we can't satisfy.
We can go deeper still.
Why do we feel that lack of plenitude? Because we got caught in duality and took reality for something it isn't. We see a warped version of it that implies subject/object. So this would be, I think, a sort of ground level. Could we cut the problem at its root and we would solve the whole thing. But this is not very easy to do, so we need methods. One of them is exactly understanding that clinging is a problem. It's a problem in itself and results of series of afflictions that gave rise to its presence. If we realize things as they are, or at least closer to that, we can enjoy without delusions, expectations and frustration.
I guess what i am trying to say is: Is it alright to do what you love, as long as you don't cling, and don't let the things you enjoy doing define your 'self' and control the happiness within your life...?
(i hope i made sense)
for listening/reading to me...
Well, it depends. There are people who love to explode others!
If what you love doesn't bring harm, there's nothing wrong about doing them. We can do things that bring positive results and make life easier. We have to hang on when things work badly and we must keep in mind that we aren't enlightened. A lot of stuff we do is pretty much useless in terms of path. Still, most can't plunge to a life entirely devoted to practice (mind you that it may even look externally that no practice at all is going on) because we are in deep sh**. So we need to work according to our circumstances, doing what we can and trying to improve. It's important to keep the view in mind though. So have present that your love for something always rises in contrast to your hate for its opposite. If you can't do what you love and have to do what you hate, you will feel awful! That's very natural when we are beginning the path (or even when we have progressed to some extent). But in the end, even the things we love and hate are both illusory because we only love or hate things (actions, objects, others)
due to that lack of plenitude that was the consequence of fundamental ignorance (avidya). In a way, to live the dream in order to finish with it (enlightenment), there are some rules we need to observe. If we become robbers we will accumulate bad karma and perhaps we go to jail. This will make our practice very difficult and we may end up losing the circumstances that we need to do it. Our view should be vast, but our actions very careful, not because they have some grand ultimate meaning (they don't), but because we need to gather the conditions to wake up from the dream of samsara.
I hope this helped a little to make things clearer.