padma norbu wrote:
It doesn't really matter either way to me as far as making the whole thing more or less pointless. If there will always be samsaric beings and the compassion of the Buddhas, it basically is still an endless trap. You're either suffering in samsara or committed to helping those who are. Forever. There doesn't seem to be a third option. For the third or fourth time now, i'll say Buddhahood is the best option given the circumstances, but if given the option of complete and total annihilation of all trace of my existence, I would choose the latter just based on the pointlessness of it. A gentle reminder: if anyone does not like this discussion, they don't have to participate.
I think liberation is described in dualistic terms to make sense to human beings. ex. Hinayana proposes liberation as annihilation; Mahayana proposes infinite Buddhas assisting infinite sentient beings (as you described); Dzogchen describes that all of existence will arise as the display of rigpa. It seems these are all conceptual descriptions that we can contrast to our experience of samsara, so that we have a model of the goal of practice. I think if you understand that liberation means no more suffering, that is enough. Which is completely impossible to grasp intellectually. I understand what you are saying about everything being "pointless." But these descriptions about the end result of practice are from the point of view of sentient beings, not liberated beings. You have to realize it's your own dualistic mind that makes it seem pointless, trying to conceptualize what liberation would be. You have to have faith that there is a "reality" that is totally free from what you are establishing as "pointless." Do you see what I'm saying?