Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

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workbalance
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Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by workbalance »

Hello,

In my limited acquaintance with Buddhism, I have seen the theory of dependent origination:
pratityasamutpada with the twelve nidanas.
This is a quite moving explanation of the cycle of suffering, but in this context,
I also wondered and would like to ask:

What is it that causes the emergence and biological aging of beings in the first place?
Is cellular senescence, that process occurring deep within the building-blocks of life,
somehow related to the suffering experienced by humans at a seemingly higher level of consciousness?
Jingtoo2
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by Jingtoo2 »

Buddha Shakyamuni told us that suffering and impermanence arise together. And that all compounded things, including our physical form, are impermanent. So the aging process and the suffering that results are hard wired into the samsaric world.
If we imagine entities that have no physical form then their suffering would take a different form.
But dukkha..suffering, will still be present in a subtler form.
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by Johnny Dangerous »

workbalance wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:43 am Hello,

In my limited acquaintance with Buddhism, I have seen the theory of dependent origination:
pratityasamutpada with the twelve nidanas.
This is a quite moving explanation of the cycle of suffering, but in this context,
I also wondered and would like to ask:

What is it that causes the emergence and biological aging of beings in the first place?
Is cellular senescence, that process occurring deep within the building-blocks of life,
somehow related to the suffering experienced by humans at a seemingly higher level of consciousness?
Yes, old age is a form of suffering. As to why it happens...well, all compound things are impermanent, including us. There's more detailed explanations of course.

There are three basic kinds of suffering:

Sankhara Dukkha - the suffering of conditioned things - we suffer due to the fact that our aggregates are bound up in suffering, and continuing to suffer due to our grasping onto them, grasp onto things as being real in way they are not, etc. i.e. creating karma.

Viparinama Dukkha - the suffering of change - probably the most applicable to your question - we suffer due to the fact that what we love disintegrates, etc. I feel like this becomes sharper as we age.

Dukkha Dukkha - the obvious stuff, actual pain, painful events etc.

https://www.rigpawiki.org/index.php?tit ... _suffering
"...if you think about how many hours, months and years of your life you've spent looking at things, being fascinated by things that have now passed away, then how wonderful to spend even five minutes looking into the nature of your own mind."

-James Low
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KathyLauren
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by KathyLauren »

Aging is just aging. It isn't suffering, nor does it cause suffering. It is simply a biological process.

The suffering is being dissatisfied with aging, or with the impermanence that it reveals. There is nothing wrong with impermanence. It is the way things are. But the attachment to the idea that things ought to be permanent is (or is the cause of) suffering.

Om mani padme hum
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PadmaVonSamba
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

workbalance wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:43 am Hello,

In my limited acquaintance with Buddhism, I have seen the theory of dependent origination:
pratityasamutpada with the twelve nidanas.
This is a quite moving explanation of the cycle of suffering, but in this context,
I also wondered and would like to ask:

What is it that causes the emergence and biological aging of beings in the first place?
Is cellular senescence, that process occurring deep within the building-blocks of life,
somehow related to the suffering experienced by humans at a seemingly higher level of consciousness?
Aging occurs because cell regeneration processes at a deteriorated rate, and this is largely due to genetic reasons. But you can Google “what causes aging?”

The suffering Buddha talks about is psychological. We see the end of life drawing near. We aren’t as agile as we were in youth, and so on. Also, physically, we have more aches and illnesses. Basically, we want things to stay the same, and they don’t.

But the suffering itself results purely from how one responds to these inevitable changes in one’s own mind.
We doesn’t have to experience aging or death as suffering. The Buddha says that the suffering is there, but he also says there is the cessation of suffering.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
workbalance
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by workbalance »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:37 pm But you can Google “what causes aging?”
Of course I can do that, but I'm interested in the Buddhist perspective, hoping for
an intuitive explanation rather than the descriptive reductions of modern science.
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by muni »

Of course Buddhism suffering is by our idea of self.
While bodies becoming older ( cells renew less) are causing suffering; bones become fragile, eyes are less good, hearing quality can go down, there are the many diseases due to the deterioration of the body joins, cartilage, teeth, circulatory system, mental abilities…...and many more as well as becoming weaker; losing immunity.

A reason why to protect our elder fellows just like we would wish when the body is old, same.
Even Buddhism teaches the body is not what we merely are ( we should not so identify with it, being a permanent thing), care ( without clinging) for all - our suffering fellows should be!

Since without we are clinging to emptiness, what could be a dangerous state, not liberating.
Conversely, viewing the self as a mere convention or as a designated label for our dynamic stream of experience - consciousness in relation to the body and the world - is in harmony with the interdependent and impermanent nature of reality; and leads to a state of well-being grounded in wisdom, altruism, compassion, and inner freedom.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... he-self--2

Simplicity reveals the nature of the mind behind the veil of restless thoughts.
https://www.matthieuricard.org/en/blog/ ... plicity--2
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

workbalance wrote: Fri Oct 23, 2020 9:43 am What is it that causes the emergence and biological aging of beings in the first place?
Ultimately, the experience we conceptualizing as “being” is a continuous momentary arising of awareness with everything that is an object if that awareness: feelings, sensations, and so on.
If one thinks that there is a constant or permanent “being” attached (you could say, “assigned”) to a particular group of DNA, Buddhism rejects this idea.
Yes, there is a constant stream of cell regeneration that we call the body, and yes, there is a consciousness that arises in conjunction with that cell activity. But, that consciousness is, itself, a continuous stream of arising moments of awareness, each moment inheriting aspects of the previous moment. That awareness doesn’t age. Just as the flame on a candle might burn for a long time, the flame itself doesn’t get older.
Is cellular senescence, that process occurring deep within the building-blocks of life, somehow related to the suffering experienced by humans at a seemingly higher level of consciousness?
I don’t think so.
Suffering is the response one has to the experience resulting from awareness of whatever is going on. If it were otherwise, then suffering would have to be an objective characteristic in cells, for example, regardless of whether the changes taking place were experienced or not. Since millions of cells are dying in your body every day without your even noticing, we can determine that the source of suffering isn’t in the cells themselves.
EMPTIFUL.
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workbalance
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by workbalance »

muni wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:21 am
Even Buddhism teaches the body is not what we merely are ( we should not so identify with it, being a permanent thing)
So we have an innate desire for permanence but we are attached to things that are impermanent.
This seems like trying to find a way to amuse our permanent self!
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

workbalance wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 12:53 pm
muni wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 11:21 am
Even Buddhism teaches the body is not what we merely are ( we should not so identify with it, being a permanent thing)
So we have an innate desire for permanence but we are attached to things that are impermanent.
This seems like trying to find a way to amuse our permanent self!
You’re right. It is.
...But, that experience of a permanent self is an illusion.
Hence, if one isn’t trying to satisfy a “permanent self” one doesn’t experience the problems that result from trying to do that.
EMPTIFUL.
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workbalance
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by workbalance »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:32 pm
Hence, if one isn’t trying to satisfy a “permanent self” one doesn’t experience the problems that result from trying to do that.
But since we are talking about the problem of amusing the permanent self, isn't that already solved?
Identification with impermanence is the already well-known & well-exercised solution!
Whereby the associated "suffering" of the lower self is exactly the amusement of the higher, permanent self.
But is this point of view somehow supported in Buddhism?
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

workbalance wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:03 pm
PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:32 pm
Hence, if one isn’t trying to satisfy a “permanent self” one doesn’t experience the problems that result from trying to do that.
But since we are talking about the problem of amusing the permanent self, isn't that already solved?
Identification with impermanence is the already well-known & well-exercised solution!
Whereby the associated "suffering" of the lower self is exactly the amusement of the higher, permanent self.
But is this point of view somehow supported in Buddhism?
I don’t understand what you are saying
:shrug:
EMPTIFUL.
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by KathyLauren »

workbalance wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 2:03 pm Whereby the associated "suffering" of the lower self is exactly the amusement of the higher, permanent self.
But is this point of view somehow supported in Buddhism?
The view that there is a permanent self at all, whether "higher" or "lower" is not supported in Buddhism. Any view that proposes a permanent self is an illusion.

Om mani padme hum
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workbalance
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by workbalance »

PadmaVonSamba wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:32 pm I don’t understand what you are saying
KathyLauren wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:17 pm Any view that proposes a permanent self is an illusion.
If the word 'self' is the problem, we could say permanent 'reality' instead.
So what I'm trying to say is that 'suffering' in the world of impermanence
is a 'divine joke' that amuses the permanent reality.
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by KathyLauren »

workbalance wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:57 pm a 'divine joke' that amuses the permanent reality.
Define this alleged permanent reality.

If there were such a thing, it would not be amused by suffering. Amusement and suffering are temporary conditions. How could a permanent reality be affected by them?

Om mani padme hum
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workbalance
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by workbalance »

KathyLauren wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 5:53 pm
workbalance wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 4:57 pm a 'divine joke' that amuses the permanent reality.
Define this alleged permanent reality.

If there were such a thing, it would not be amused by suffering. Amusement and suffering are temporary conditions. How could a permanent reality be affected by them?

It seems that I'm not using the right words. By 'permanent reality' I mean the cessation of suffering, the enlightened state, the ideal towards which the efforts of Buddhists are tending to. So I'm asking myself: why isn't this state already the only reality to be experienced, why is it conceivable that suffering should interfere and obscure it? It occured to me that perhaps from the enlightened state's point of view, this un-enlightened suffering is a amusing denial of its own quality, false and illusionary, resembling (but on a grander scale) our human jokes, e.g. an adult adopting childish manners, knowing that it's a theatrical performance which can be stopped at will, but which is enacted nonetheless.
But I don't know the precise psychological mechanism that leads to jokes so as to further support this analogy.
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by avatamsaka3 »

So I'm asking myself: why isn't this state already the only reality to be experienced, why is it conceivable that suffering should interfere and obscure it?
Taṇhā.
It occurred to me that perhaps from the enlightened state's point of view, this un-enlightened suffering is a amusing denial of its own quality, false and illusionary, resembling (but on a grander scale) our human jokes, e.g. an adult adopting childish manners, knowing that it's a theatrical performance which can be stopped at will, but which is enacted nonetheless.
But I don't know the precise psychological mechanism that leads to jokes so as to further support this analogy.
Unenlightened states proceed from ignorance. The "joke" you mention is not a Buddhist concept. Things arise and fall away in dependence on causes and conditions.
Last edited by avatamsaka3 on Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
workbalance
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by workbalance »

avatamsaka3 wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:04 pm

Taṇhā.
avatamsaka3 wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 10:04 pm
Unenlightened states proceed from ignorance. The "joke" you mention is not a Buddhist concept. Things arise and fall away in dependence on causes and conditions.
What is the source of Taṇhā? What is the source of ignorance? What would be wrong if they did not exist?
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by Jingtoo2 »

“Tanha” literally means thirst. But as you will have gathered Buddhism uses it to cover all things we crave. Traditionally it is said to be of three kinds..some of that, three of these and five of those by the way is very much a product of the parent culture of Buddhism which tends to enumerate and analyse along categorical lines and should not be taken too literally, but in tradition tanha is said to come in three forms..craving for existence, craving for sensory stimulation and craving for non existence..as in Hamlets soliloquy.
The historical Buddha said to ask the origin of such things is not likely to lead anywhere. It’s like asking the origin of gravity. We can build a mathematical model but won’t stop it hurting if something heavy falls on our head.
If we reflect on our situation we can see tanha in action, and then go from there and ask if Buddhism proposes an answer.
And it does..🙂
Last edited by Jingtoo2 on Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
avatamsaka3
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by avatamsaka3 »

What is the source of Taṇhā?
Some would say it's improper understanding of the nature of reality. In any case, the fact is we live in this reality with all this clinging and suffering. So we have to deal with this, the way it is.
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