Wow Nathan, you said a lot with that statement. I hardly understand what you are saying. It seems you are saying several things.you said: "It is our whole being that we examine with calm and insight
..." That implies that when I am meditating I am looking at myself from a perspective that can effectively measure and define who I am. Since we are talking about my meditation feeling intolerable that implies my virtue is intolerable and from my wider perspective, I am self-defined as intolerable. Therefore if I act in a more disciplined way to accrue virtue my meditation will be more tolerable, and I will be self-defined as more tolerable. That would be one reward of virtue. Later on you said: "Otherwise life just happens to us and we are at the mercy of that as well as not understanding what is in our best interests.
" You seem to be saying the examined (with calm and insight) life diminishes the frequency/severity of unpurposeful events in addition to creating understanding about what is best for ourselves. You go onto say "These aren't our feelings and thoughts. They just happen because of the ways that things are.
" I don't understand. What isn't our feelings and thoughts? The reactions we have to a unexamined life? The feelings and thoughts of a non-virtuous life? I am sorry, I just don't understand. The general gist of your reply seems to be that by meditating and practicing discipline we not only know who we are, not only have a pleasant meditative experience, but we get to redefine ourselves. I am not trying to create a problem here. I probably understand what you are saying and am just being obtuse, but reasoning with me is
effective in changing some of my actions. Do you mind confirming or reexplaining what you are saying? Thank you, and sorry for the thick head.
Time is what keeps everything from happening at once.