Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

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

Post by workbalance »

Jingtoo2 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:22 am craving for non existence..as in Hamlets soliloquy.
Jingtoo2 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:22 am 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.
Thank you for your interest in my concerns, which I think are everybody's, but as the answers evade us, we turn to practical considerations. And compassion and love and helpfulness, that's already too much to properly achieve and it's rather ungrateful towards the force of life that brought us here to crave for understanding the origins. The "joke"-view of suffering that I mentioned above is for calming my mind in this respect. And I momentarily linked it to the laughing Buddha I saw sideways..
avatamsaka3
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by avatamsaka3 »

The "joke"-view of suffering that I mentioned above is for calming my mind in this respect. And I momentarily linked it to the laughing Buddha I saw sideways..
The so-called "Laughing Buddha" was probably a monk named Budai who lived China. Buddha Shakyamuni was a serious fellow (from what we know today) who never taught that "life is a joke". This would not make sense in the context of the Buddhist teachings.
workbalance
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by workbalance »

avatamsaka3 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:11 pm Buddha Shakyamuni was a serious fellow (from what we know today) who never taught that "life is a joke". This would not make sense in the context of the Buddhist teachings.
But a joke can have a very serious content. What I mean by this is viewing life as a theatrical performance, but not based on random and arbitrary acts. It must be a high quality performance, with compassion, love, creativity and helpfulness, but without losing sight of the fact that it is a theatrical performance, directed from above, from a divine unknown source. This double view of well balanced ethics & theatre, personally for me, works well in giving meaning to my life, when I manage to get in synch with it. A proper appreciation of the theatrical element removes much of life's grave burdens and sufferings. It's a delicate balance, though, which requires effort, patience and perhaps appropriate schooling.
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

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workbalance wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 10:20 pm
avatamsaka3 wrote: Sun Oct 25, 2020 8:11 pm Buddha Shakyamuni was a serious fellow (from what we know today) who never taught that "life is a joke". This would not make sense in the context of the Buddhist teachings.
But a joke can have a very serious content. What I mean by this is viewing life as a theatrical performance, but not based on random and arbitrary acts. It must be a high quality performance, with compassion, love, creativity and helpfulness, but without losing sight of the fact that it is a theatrical performance, directed from above, from a divine unknown source. This double view of well balanced ethics & theatre, personally for me, works well in giving meaning to my life, when I manage to get in synch with it. A proper appreciation of the theatrical element removes much of life's grave burdens and sufferings. It's a delicate balance, though, which requires effort, patience and perhaps appropriate schooling.
This would be considered a wrong view in Buddhism. There is no "source" or outsider directing the theater piece. Rather our ignorance creates the theater and it's contents, from a Buddhist standpoint.
"...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
avatamsaka3
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by avatamsaka3 »

But a joke can have a very serious content. What I mean by this is viewing life as a theatrical performance, but not based on random and arbitrary acts. It must be a high quality performance, with compassion, love, creativity and helpfulness, but without losing sight of the fact that it is a theatrical performance, directed from above, from a divine unknown source.
There is no "divine unknown source" taught in Buddhism. We are not interested in theatricality. Genuineness is valuable on this path.

If it helps you to think of life as a "joke", then I can't stop you from doing that. But I hope that you can see that the dharma offers a much more powerful and reassuring message: there's no joke, our actions have consequences, and when we train our mind to be less of a mess we suffer less.
workbalance
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by workbalance »

avatamsaka3 wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:29 am
There is no "divine unknown source" taught in Buddhism. We are not interested in theatricality. Genuineness is valuable on this path.
avatamsaka3 wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:29 am and when we train our mind to be less of a mess we suffer less.
Using different words does not necessarily mean that we disagree. For me, "joke" and "theatricality" are not at all hypocrisy or un-genuineness; it's a way to accept that world of multiplicity is an illusion. Illusion relative to something fundamentally different, which I call "unknown divine source". Unknown as long as the illusion persists. But I think that our human way is not to violently destroy but to master the illusion, meaning not to be overwhelmed by it but enjoy it and help others do the same, exactly by "training our mind to be less of a mess" as you say. But here also comes the question of method and speed of training. What is good for one school may be violent for another. Hence "disagreement" emerges that obscures the fundamental agreement.
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by Jingtoo2 »

Your ideas may be valuable to you. But they are not the Dharma of the Buddha. And I think that’s the most important thing that I can say to you... :smile:
workbalance
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by workbalance »

Jingtoo2 wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 10:52 am Your ideas may be valuable to you. But they are not the Dharma of the Buddha. And I think that’s the most important thing that I can say to you... :smile:
:smile: is our common ground
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

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:anjali:
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

workbalance wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:34 pm 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?
Briefly, this:
In all of the experience that we call “reality” everything is either awareness, or else, an object of that awareness.
Because this experience thus occurs as a dichotomy,
From it arises the perception of “self” and “other”.
Relatively speaking, “self - and - other” works.
It doesn’t necessarily work very well.
It’s basically what we call samsara.
So, as far as functioning as an endless cycle of rebirth,
it runs okay, non-stop.
But, the awareness itself never ended.
The “Awakened Mind” is happening right now,
so it’s not like, “how did awareness get sidetracked?”
By not realizing that awareness is still right on track,
And instead, focusing on objects of awareness as intrinsically real,
We experience awareness as though it is off track
And that’s suffering.
EMPTIFUL.
An inward outlook develops outward insight.
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by Queequeg »

workbalance wrote: Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:34 pm
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.
While the Buddha wisdom is sometimes described in terms of permanence, it ought to be understood that this is itself a conditioned label.

Its a conditioned label, meaning, its something we construct out of the flotsam and jetsam of our memories, for something that is said to be uncompounded, an idea which is itself constructed out of the flotsam and jetsam of our memories. It's "permanent" only because it is described as never arising in the first place. Being unarisen, it can't break down; not susceptible to breaking down, it is "permanent". All this is in our mind that is curated out of the flotsam and jetsam of our memories.

Implicitly, this "permanence" is meaningful only against what is impermanent - basically, our self, the significance we ascribe to our sentience that we grasp out of the flotsam and jetsam of our memories.

Anything that is impermanent is not, in the end, a reliable measure of anything. It would be like trying to measure distance with a magical, kaleidoscopic ruler that changes length depending on the time of day, the way its used, the way its held, the temperature, the mood of the person doing the measuring, etc., and where the thing measured likewise changes depending on myriad factors. It would be impossible to actually measure anything with any degree of repeatability. (physicists wholly agree with this).

You are conceptualizing the permanent in arbitrarily defined terms that depend on the kaleidoscopic present moment of mind. You think that there is some sort of view from the vantage point of permanence that somehow is similar to your own present state. This is not a particularly bad thing - its just the nature of being sentient. But it is a false projection. (Being sentient is actually like a massively intensive LSD trip - we've just gotten used to it and figured out how to function by selectively choosing information to pay attention to.)

The Buddha's view is nothing like yours or mine. It is not defined by the limitations of our encumbered, unliberated mind. It has no reference point, unlike ours which is defined by an array of reference points arranged around our notion of "self". It is so unlike our vantage point that it is categorically inconceivable to us.

That said, if all we, as Buddhist practitionres, did was say, "Awakening is inconceivable." and remained silent beyond that, there would be no way to meaningfully guide ourselves toward awakening. The Buddha takes into account our demented view and teaches us how to untangle ourselves out of it so that we can then be freed into the Buddha Wisdom. Including saying things like, "There is permanence."

The Buddha doesn't joke. The Buddha does not have a sense of humor. Humor is meaningless. Why? Because the structure of a joke depends on not knowing the punch line before hand. When knowledge is without limits, there is no punch line that is a surprise.

The humor you're talking about is probably closer to the absurdity observed by existentialists. At the heart of existentialism is still a notion of "self", even as it is impermanent. Existentialists are a subset of materialists, who have constructed a reaction to the nihilism at the heart of materialism.
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

There are beings with little dust in their eyes who are falling away because they do not hear the Dhamma. There will be those who will understand the Dhamma.
-Ayacana Sutta
avatamsaka3
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by avatamsaka3 »

Illusion relative to something fundamentally different, which I call "unknown divine source".
Sorry, no one in Buddhism would use those words. And it's not clear to me what you're talking about.
but to master the illusion, meaning not to be overwhelmed by it but enjoy it and help others do the same
You can enjoy the illusion all you want. In order to progress on any serious Buddhist path, though, you need renunciation. At least, you need some understanding of why samsara is not as desirable as we think.
Hence "disagreement" emerges that obscures the fundamental agreement.
In truth there is no disagreement. Find truth and there's nothing more to be said.
workbalance
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

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Queequeg wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:10 pm The humor you're talking about is probably closer to the absurdity observed by existentialists.
It is my concern not to be trapped into the absurdity observed by existentialists, not inside that spherical wall upon which logic hits and cannot pass.
I believe in God, by my own inclination and by the platonic tradition, and I try to come to terms with this idea that is not trapping me inside the wall of absurdity.

So I use this heuristic reasoning: If the one, permanent, blissful God wished to amuse himself, what would he do? He would devise an illusionary world of multiplicity, impermanence and suffering. So I use the words 'joke' and 'theatrical perforamance' in just this sense: that the world is an ongoing play, an illusion that God can stop whenever he wishes, but as long as it goes on, our part, as active participants into it, is to make it a high quality play, where high quality means: all ethics, love, creativity and combined virtue in the world.

To me the Buddhist viewpoint seems to be: forget all that, do not try to model things with analogies taken from your clumsy experience,
break all limits and horizons and burst out into infinite awareness. But that's too much for me, it feels unstructured and chaotic.

Perhaps I'm closer to the hinduist Lila? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lila_(Hinduism)
I have not studied it and I cannot say.
I would be grateful if you could comment on the relation of this concept with Buddhism.
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

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workbalance wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:18 pm
Queequeg wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 4:10 pm The humor you're talking about is probably closer to the absurdity observed by existentialists.
It is my concern not to be trapped into the absurdity observed by existentialists, not inside that spherical wall upon which logic hits and cannot pass.
I believe in God, by my own inclination and by the platonic tradition, and I try to come to terms with this idea that is not trapping me inside the wall of absurdity.

So I use this heuristic reasoning: If the one, permanent, blissful God wished to amuse himself, what would he do? He would devise an illusionary world of multiplicity, impermanence and suffering. So I use the words 'joke' and 'theatrical perforamance' in just this sense: that the world is an ongoing play, an illusion that God can stop whenever he wishes, but as long as it goes on, our part, as active participants into it, is to make it a high quality play, where high quality means: all ethics, love, creativity and combined virtue in the world.

To me the Buddhist viewpoint seems to be: forget all that, do not try to model things with analogies taken from your clumsy experience,
break all limits and horizons and burst out into infinite awareness. But that's too much for me, it feels unstructured and chaotic.

Perhaps I'm closer to the hinduist Lila? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lila_(Hinduism)
I have not studied it and I cannot say.
I would be grateful if you could comment on the relation of this concept with Buddhism.
Moderator Note: Dharmawheel is not the place for comparative religion discussions. This forum is for the discussion of Mahayana Buddhism. For the type of discussion you raise above, please visit our sister site: https://dharmapaths.com/
avatamsaka3
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Re: Is suffering intimately connected with the biological aging of cells?

Post by avatamsaka3 »

workbalance wrote: Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:18 pmI believe in God, by my own inclination and by the platonic tradition, and I try to come to terms with this idea that is not trapping me inside the wall of absurdity.
So I use this heuristic reasoning: If the one, permanent, blissful God wished to amuse himself, what would he do? He would devise an illusionary world of multiplicity, impermanence and suffering.
You can try posting on Dharma Paths, as the moderator pointed out. You could also contact me.
Last edited by avatamsaka3 on Tue Oct 27, 2020 1:49 am, edited 1 time in total.
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