I don't get Buddhism

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:27 am

iambiguous wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:If one were to adopt Buddhism-proper as a diagnostic tool to understand one's own issues and resolves them according, then all the problems you listed above will be minimized.


Okay, but how is this applicable to my own interest in religion? How [among the young] would "adopting Buddhism-proper as a diagnostic tool" have any significant use value or exchange value in confronting conflicting goods on this side of the grave? However one construes their fate on the other side of it.

With regard to any particular individual, I can see where Buddhism might be beneficial. Or in a small cloistered community. But the more an individual Buddhist interacts with others in the manner in which most of us do in this modern world, the more likely that wants and needs will come into conflict. And, to the extent that they do, claiming to be "enlightened" will only go so far among those who are not Buddhists.

And sooner of later the interactions will get around to the part where we are dead and gone. And here the Buddhists are in the same boat with all the rest of us: filling the gap between what they believe about the afterlife and what they are able to actually demonstrate is true.

The part where, in my view, it is the believing itself that counts most of all. Religion as either a political opiate of the people for some or a comforting and consoling psychological defense mechanism for others.

We have gone through this in many rounds.

Generally when one adopt Buddhism-proper one will have the diagnostic tool and strategies to modulate to minimize [not eliminate] whatever the problem that arises. It is a case of having some control over one's self [e.g. with a rudder and steering wheel] is better than none [rudderless].
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:38 am

Fanman wrote:So, to effectively dehumanise human-beings is the right path to making them better human-beings? Emotional castration? In my experience, people are like water in a jug, we move in whichever direction the jug is moved by the forces around it. If we can maintain a good, sturdy disposition when forces are pulling and pushing us in different directions then brilliant I guess, but I don't believe, as a human-being, that that should be the expectation or perhaps even the goal? Is it right to always act like everything is okay? Or if I'm happy emotionally, to not show it?

Managing our emotions and instincts is a good thing which people are generally capable of, but complete suppression of our nature (emotions) seems wrong to me on so many levels. Like feeding a predatory animal vegetables for half of it's life, then releasing it into the wild - expecting it to hunt, kill prey and chill with the other predators – after hacking it's nature.

In life, no matter how “modulated” we perceive ourselves to be, if something hits us hard enough, were going to react with an emotional response. To do so is not wrong, its human. There have been times in all of our lives when we've suffered, and times when things have been great. If the aim of buddhism is to eliminate suffering, what's the point if the emotions you need to enjoy that suffering free life are completely suppressed?

Not sure if you are responding to my points.

In my post above, I did not mention complete suppression.
DNA wise, human instincts, emotions and other impulses are inherent and are useful for survival. Since they are embedded within the DNA, there is no possibility of 'castration' and will not be advocated even if it is possible.

I had mentioned 'modulation' so that those inherent impulses are managed to achieve optimal result to the best of one's ability.

True, if an emotion or instinct hit hard enough, one could loose control of one self. Example if a person is hit with tremendous sadness and stress, one could free fall into severe depression and never be able to recover and possibly committing suicide.

But with Buddhism proper, adopting and practicing some kind of control is better than no control. With some kind of control, one will be able to withstand any surge of the basic impulses to some degree and if one person is knocked down for some reason, they will be able to get up more easily.

The aim of Buddhism is not to eliminate mental pains and sufferings which are inherent to human nature, but merely to modulate them towards optimal results. Buddhism for example cannot eliminate grief which is very natural and the only solution is to ride it out in time efficiently.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:41 am

gib wrote:Why does Buddhism require the suppression of emotion? From what I've been told, the care-free, light-hearted, at-peace state of mind of the enlightened practitioner comes from realizing that life is illusory. They say it's like realizing that you're in a dream, and that nothing that happens therein matters because it's not real. In that case, if one were having a nightmare, for example, and then realized it was just a dream, one would no longer experience any fear; one would sigh a breath of relief and maybe even laugh at the nightmare. <-- That's very different from trying to suppress the fear... the fear simply vanishes.
You have to look at the practice and the judgments in texts. The practices are literally severing your experession of emotional states. Your body is fixed and unmoving, you are silent, you disidentify with emotions, they are not expressed. You are training to not express emotions, regardless of how much physical or emotional pain comes up in meditation, and to disrupt the natural flow of emotion to expression through silently holding your body in place and cutting off emotion to body/voice. Of course you are learning other things as well, but that is a core facet of the training. The texts talk about not clinging, judge desire as causal to pain. This directly goes after the emotions, because they are powerfully involved in desires and what gets judged as clinging in Buddhism.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:55 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:The 2nd Noble Truth is the 'Truth of the Cause of Sufferings.'
In this we have to be very careful with the translated terms 'truth', cause and sufferings in relation to its original intended meaning.
The original intended meaning has to do with desire/thirst (literal translation)/clinging to anything. That this causes suffering and we must eliminate it.

You just threw a social mammal out the window. The practices of Buddhism include the disidentification with emotions (and yes, also thoughts) and the severing of emotion to expression process. You 'accept' them, but must witness them. The flow to expression is dammed as you say. Though it is even more than this. You keep still and silent, in the practices, regardless of pain or emotion. You are training to not express emotions. Yes, outside of meditation, you may express emotions, but the training includes precisely the severing of feeling of emotion to expression processes. That is what you are learning to do, training yourself to do. And this is why anywhere the doctrines of Buddhism go, you will find suppression of emotions and judgments of emotions.

People think of texts as true in and of themselves. But texts do things. And what those texts do to humans, is to train them to suppress emotions. And those who are drawn to it want to do that. And if they want to do it, they should. However it should be presented as a value-free scientific process. It is a value laden one, one with heavy judgments of the limbic system and its expression physically. What a text does, tells what a text is. And then the text itself contains these judgments as do the practices.

I don't claim to know the most, but I know more than the average Buddhist and researchers in Buddhism.
Could be true. But your responses have relayed some fairly basic stuff as if I and others need the small lectures.

'Suppress' I meant total elimination.
That is not what suppress means in relation to emotions.

It is possible for those above 60 to do the acts of samartha and vispassana but the results for vispassana will not be efficient. I have read this from Buddhist scholars.
And yet nevertheless scientific research shows that significant changes can take place pretty much regardless of age.

However the phrase 'cannot teach old dogs new tricks' is very realistic in terms of the state of neurons i.e. reduced elasticity in older people.
There have been people over 60 who have had stokes and damaged large portions of their brains and from their used other portions of their brains to learn, again, in new neural pathways, how to speak, eat, walk and other incredibly complicated skills. Yes, it is harder to learn new things when one is older, but the brains still show incredible neuroplasticity. It's not all or nothing, as that old cliche about dogs would lead one (or Iamb if he took it seriously) to believe.

Buddhism-proper never advocate total elimination of desires because desires are inherent in humans as human nature.
However Buddhism-proper advocate the control of desires to eliminate attachment and clingingness. It is the latter that contribute to sufferings.
What is critical in Buddhism-proper is to eliminate the clingingness to an eternal soul that survives physical death [note the Buddha Story].

I agreed those above 60 can benefit in some ways from mindfulness and concentration but in general the saying 'one cannot teach old dogs new tricks' is still prevail because that is human nature.

As Fanman stated which I agree to some degree;

    In life, no matter how “modulated” we perceive ourselves to be, if something hits us hard enough, were going to react with an emotional response. To do so is not wrong, its human. There have been times in all of our lives when we've suffered, and times when things have been great.

What I meant is, when something hit hard enough, those starting Buddhism-proper above 60 may not have the ability [neuro-plasticity] to develop and deal with whatever 'hit hard enough'.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Tue Oct 15, 2019 6:09 am

gib wrote:Why does Buddhism require the suppression of emotion? From what I've been told, the care-free, light-hearted, at-peace state of mind of the enlightened practitioner comes from realizing that life is illusory. They say it's like realizing that you're in a dream, and that nothing that happens therein matters because it's not real. In that case, if one were having a nightmare, for example, and then realized it was just a dream, one would no longer experience any fear; one would sigh a breath of relief and maybe even laugh at the nightmare. <-- That's very different from trying to suppress the fear... the fear simply vanishes.

As I had mentioned is it not a question of 'suppression' as in elimination but rather modulating of emotions to achieve optimal well being.

When the fear emotion is triggered, what is to be invoked is 'Right View', then Right Action.
If the fear was from a dream, one could rationalize it away.
If the fear is from seeing a tiger nearby, one must acknowledge the fear and run to safety.

However what is most critical with Buddhism-proper is the subliminal unconscious fear of inevitable mortality. The main purpose of Buddhism-proper [as reflected in the Buddha Story and 4NT] is the modulation of the subconscious fear of mortality which is primary.

The conscious fear of mortality is secondary since humans are evolved with a natural mechanism to deal with it. [A] This is why the majority of people will claim they do not have a fear of death at least most of the time except in rare moments.

What is critical is the subliminal subconscious fear of mortality that is inhibited by the above [A] but there are leakages which exude and manifest as a cognitive dissonance which generate all sorts of psychosis, like severe anxieties, despairs, Angst and the likes. The main purpose of Buddhism-proper is to modulate [not get rid] these mental sufferings.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Fanman » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:54 pm

Hi Prismatic,

I wasn't addressing you directly, but I was aware that what I stated touched upon some of the points that you made, and that you may respond.

True, if an emotion or instinct hit hard enough, one could loose control of one self. Example if a person is hit with tremendous sadness and stress, one could free fall into severe depression and never be able to recover and possibly committing suicide.


This is correct, and if there is a method of thinking, or way of life that can help when people feel like that, then great. However Buddhism strikes me as a double-edged sword. On the one side it can purportedly be beneficial way of life. But the cost of that (or the other side) is tantamount to an escapism from the core essences of human nature, and those essences can be beneficial to us. To deny and control our desires and such is normal, but we do indulge in them to a degree, a measured degree. To completely deny all desire doesn't seem like a healthy way to live, not human at all. Which is where I see the problems. You used the dam analogy, but if the dam bursts (people are imperfect) all of the "water" comes gushing out in one enormous event, which if you put in terms of people, is just not good.

But with Buddhism proper, adopting and practicing some kind of control is better than no control. With some kind of control, one will be able to withstand any surge of the basic impulses to some degree and if one person is knocked down for some reason, they will be able to get up more easily.


I don't want to get on the "God" track, but Christianity can make the same argument. Just replace “Buddhism-proper” and “control” with Jesus... Christians will testify to the same efficacy with their beliefs, but that too is a double-edged sword.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Tue Oct 15, 2019 7:35 pm

Prismatic567 wrote: We have gone through this in many rounds.


Given my own admittedly repetitious preccupation with religion as both an adjunct of dasein and antidote to moral ambiguity, I get this a lot. But that is what absorbs me [by far] the most: the existential relationship between "I" and the behaviors we choose here and now as that relates to our imagined fate there and then through one or another religious narrative.

Prismatic567 wrote: Generally when one adopt Buddhism-proper one will have the diagnostic tool and strategies to modulate to minimize [not eliminate] whatever the problem that arises. It is a case of having some control over one's self [e.g. with a rudder and steering wheel] is better than none [rudderless].


Yes, and given my own personal preoccupations here that just brings me back around to this:

"With regard to any particular individual, I can see where Buddhism might be beneficial. Or in a small cloistered community. But the more an individual Buddhist interacts with others in the manner in which most of us do in this modern world, the more likely that wants and needs will come into conflict. And, to the extent that they do, claiming to be "enlightened" will only go so far among those who are not Buddhists.

And sooner of later the interactions will get around to the part where we are dead and gone. And here the Buddhists are in the same boat with all the rest of us: filling the gap between what they believe about the afterlife and what they are able to actually demonstrate is true.

The part where, in my view, it is the believing itself that counts most of all. Religion as either a political opiate of the people for some or a comforting and consoling psychological defense mechanism for others."

I guess we're stuck then. But given the manner in which I understand value judgments of this sort being stuck is sort of my point.

At least until one or another religious narrative has in fact been demonstrated to be either the optimal frame of mind or the only truly rational assessment there is.

This or God [one of them] actually makes an appearance such that no one and doubt that He [and His Will] exist.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:15 am

Fanman wrote:Hi Prismatic,

I wasn't addressing you directly, but I was aware that what I stated touched upon some of the points that you made, and that you may respond.

True, if an emotion or instinct hit hard enough, one could loose control of one self. Example if a person is hit with tremendous sadness and stress, one could free fall into severe depression and never be able to recover and possibly committing suicide.


This is correct, and if there is a method of thinking, or way of life that can help when people feel like that, then great. However Buddhism strikes me as a double-edged sword. On the one side it can purportedly be beneficial way of life.

But the cost of that (or the other side) is tantamount to an escapism from the core essences of human nature, and those essences can be beneficial to us.

To deny and control our desires and such is normal, but we do indulge in them to a degree, a measured degree. To completely deny all desire doesn't seem like a healthy way to live, not human at all. Which is where I see the problems.

You used the dam analogy, but if the dam bursts (people are imperfect) all of the "water" comes gushing out in one enormous event, which if you put in terms of people, is just not good.

Despite me mentioning the points many times, you have missed them.

The core principles of Buddhism do not condone asceticism and escapism.
Guatama himself tried the ascetic path but failed. Thus Guatama and Buddhism-proper never approved of asceticism and escapism.
As I had stated Buddhism is flexible and allow those who cannot adopt its core beliefs and practices to compromise within their personal constraints. This is why asceticism came into the picture, i.e. as a compromised practice.

As I had also stated, Buddhism proper is not about 'completely deny all desire'. Guatama tried that in his ascetic practices and he tried to suppress his normal desires, but he end up with being frail and failed.

I introduced the dam example.
In the case of Buddhism-proper the iterative problem-solving technique of Buddhism-proper will ensure the 'dam' within the individual is continually strengthen against discovered weaknesses.
Being human i.e. fallible and organic, it is possible for the 'dam' within the individual to burst. It has happened with some individuals [scandals of reputable Buddhist monks and scholars] but it is not the norm as long as one has strive to do their best.

But with Buddhism proper, adopting and practicing some kind of control is better than no control. With some kind of control, one will be able to withstand any surge of the basic impulses to some degree and if one person is knocked down for some reason, they will be able to get up more easily.


I don't want to get on the "God" track, but Christianity can make the same argument. Just replace “Buddhism-proper” and “control” with Jesus... Christians will testify to the same efficacy with their beliefs, but that too is a double-edged sword.

The difference is Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions do not introduce the concept of building secure dams via continual rewiring the neurons in the brains of believers.

All a Christian, Muslim or Jew has to do is merely belief based on blind faith and viola one is saved. This is based on very flimsy neural inhibitors which are very sensitive to perceived threats. If one were to critique Christianity one will meet with all sorts of defenses and in the case of Islam, one could be killed merely by drawing of cartoons of Muhammad.

Buddhism-proper do not rely totally on beliefs but rather a Buddhist need constant practices [like a sportsperson or person of skill] to hone and continually improve and maintain one's skill.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:23 am

iambiguous wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote: We have gone through this in many rounds.


Given my own admittedly repetitious preccupation with religion as both an adjunct of dasein and antidote to moral ambiguity, I get this a lot. But that is what absorbs me [by far] the most: the existential relationship between "I" and the behaviors we choose here and now as that relates to our imagined fate there and then through one or another religious narrative.

Prismatic567 wrote: Generally when one adopt Buddhism-proper one will have the diagnostic tool and strategies to modulate to minimize [not eliminate] whatever the problem that arises. It is a case of having some control over one's self [e.g. with a rudder and steering wheel] is better than none [rudderless].


Yes, and given my own personal preoccupations here that just brings me back around to this:

"With regard to any particular individual, I can see where Buddhism might be beneficial. Or in a small cloistered community. But the more an individual Buddhist interacts with others in the manner in which most of us do in this modern world, the more likely that wants and needs will come into conflict. And, to the extent that they do, claiming to be "enlightened" will only go so far among those who are not Buddhists.

And sooner of later the interactions will get around to the part where we are dead and gone. And here the Buddhists are in the same boat with all the rest of us: filling the gap between what they believe about the afterlife and what they are able to actually demonstrate is true.

The part where, in my view, it is the believing itself that counts most of all. Religion as either a political opiate of the people for some or a comforting and consoling psychological defense mechanism for others."

I guess we're stuck then. But given the manner in which I understand value judgments of this sort being stuck is sort of my point.

At least until one or another religious narrative has in fact been demonstrated to be either the optimal frame of mind or the only truly rational assessment there is.

This or God [one of them] actually makes an appearance such that no one and doubt that He [and His Will] exist.

When a Buddhist adopts the Buddhism-proper approach, i.e.
Buddhism-proper Life Problem-Solving Technique
s/he will not be be caught in a rut like you.

Perhaps if you run your dilemma through the above iterative technique it might be able to throw off the rut to reveal some ideas of the problems you are stuck in. The problem is only in the implementing and application of the solutions.

One of the iterative process is going through the 8 fold path;

THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
    Right understanding (Samma ditthi), aka Right View,
    Right thought (Samma sankappa)
    Right speech (Samma vaca)
    Right action (Samma kammanta)
    Right livelihood (Samma ajiva)
    Right effort (Samma vayama)
    Right mindfulness (Samma sati)
    Right concentration (Samma samadhi)

From what I gather from your post, you obviously is not having the Right View or Right Understanding and Right Thought, of the problem you are facing, thus going round in circles and so is caught in a rut.
Last edited by Prismatic567 on Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:25 am

Karpel Tunnel wrote:You have to look at the practice and the judgments in texts.


I believe you. But I think I'm highlighting a contradiction. While the texts say (according to you) that the way to alleviation of suffering is to suppress emotions, other stories seem to suggest that suffering is alleviated by realizing that the world is illusion, or that the self is illusion and therefore there is no one there to suffer (or something like that); these are very different approaches, and they seem to contradict each other. Maybe the suppression of emotion is supposed to be the path towards enlightenment, but once enlightened, you realize there is nothing to be upset about (or to fear, or to be angry about) so you don't have to suppress any longer. Or maybe the idea is that in order to attain enlightenment, it's enough just to act enlightened; if an enlightened one acts as though he is totally detached from this world, showing no emotional reaction to anything therein, then the key is to suppress one's emotions so as to act as if one is detached in the same way. But I would still say there is a world of difference between acting emotionally detached vs. being emotionally detached.

Prismatic567 wrote:
gib wrote:Why does Buddhism require the suppression of emotion? From what I've been told, the care-free, light-hearted, at-peace state of mind of the enlightened practitioner comes from realizing that life is illusory. They say it's like realizing that you're in a dream, and that nothing that happens therein matters because it's not real. In that case, if one were having a nightmare, for example, and then realized it was just a dream, one would no longer experience any fear; one would sigh a breath of relief and maybe even laugh at the nightmare. <-- That's very different from trying to suppress the fear... the fear simply vanishes.

As I had mentioned is it not a question of 'suppression' as in elimination but rather modulating of emotions to achieve optimal well being.


That doesn't matter. When you realize you're in a dream, any fear you may have had just vanishes... no need to suppress or "modulate".

Prismatic567 wrote:When the fear emotion is triggered, what is to be invoked is 'Right View', then Right Action.
If the fear was from a dream, one could rationalize it away.
If the fear is from seeing a tiger nearby, one must acknowledge the fear and run to safety.


I guess that depends on what the "dream" analogy stands for. This is one of the shortcomings I suffer with respect to Buddhism, and what this thread sort of, kind of revolves around... this idea of "waking up", of becoming "enlightened"... what is it? What does the awakened one actually realize. I'm told it is that the world (and more importantly the self) is an illusion, and the "dream" metaphor is apt to describe what this is (sort of, kind of) like. If this is to be taken literally, then no, you don't need to fear the tiger and run to safety... no more than you would if you were dreaming of a tiger... but this all hinges on what the "dream" stands for, what one is really enlightened to. Maybe life really is important after all, that things do matter, but only taken in scope... maybe with respect to "God" level consciousness--the consciousness they say one arises to in the most enlightened states--human life is trivially insignificant, and therefore doesn't matter if one is eaten by a tiger. I'm really too ignorant to say because I'm too ignorant about what this "enlightenment" thing is and what that says about the value of human life and the world we live in... but... according to what they say--the whole dream analogy thing--I would think not even human life matters given that it is an illusion in the end.

Prismatic567 wrote:However what is most critical with Buddhism-proper is the subliminal unconscious fear of inevitable mortality. The main purpose of Buddhism-proper [as reflected in the Buddha Story and 4NT] is the modulation of the subconscious fear of mortality which is primary.


I don't really understand this. I've never heard of this "subliminal unconscious fear of inevitable mortality" in Buddhism. Is this just a fancy way of saying: fear of death?

Prismatic567 wrote:The conscious fear of mortality is secondary since humans are evolved with a natural mechanism to deal with it. [A] This is why the majority of people will claim they do not have a fear of death at least most of the time except in rare moments.


You mean in the sense that we normally acknowledge our inevitable death but then move on to other things--career, raising kids, having fun, producing things, etc.--and we just don't think about death most of the time?

Prismatic567 wrote:What is critical is the subliminal subconscious fear of mortality that is inhibited by the above [A] but there are leakages which exude and manifest as a cognitive dissonance which generate all sorts of psychosis, like severe anxieties, despairs, Angst and the likes. The main purpose of Buddhism-proper is to modulate [not get rid] these mental sufferings.


This is a new twist on Buddhism I have never heard of. Unless I misunderstand you, I would think the natural mechanism [A] which we use to deal with our fear of death is how we modulate our fear of death. What more is Buddhism doing to ameliorate this suffering? And what does "modulate" mean in this context?
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:47 am

gib wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:
gib wrote:Why does Buddhism require the suppression of emotion? From what I've been told, the care-free, light-hearted, at-peace state of mind of the enlightened practitioner comes from realizing that life is illusory. They say it's like realizing that you're in a dream, and that nothing that happens therein matters because it's not real. In that case, if one were having a nightmare, for example, and then realized it was just a dream, one would no longer experience any fear; one would sigh a breath of relief and maybe even laugh at the nightmare. <-- That's very different from trying to suppress the fear... the fear simply vanishes.

As I had mentioned is it not a question of 'suppression' as in elimination but rather modulating of emotions to achieve optimal well being.


That doesn't matter. When you realize you're in a dream, any fear you may have had just vanishes... no need to suppress or "modulate".

Agree in the case of dreams, it is resolved when one is awake. There are rare exceptions.
My above point re no suppression but modulation was in general.

Prismatic567 wrote:When the fear emotion is triggered, what is to be invoked is 'Right View', then Right Action.
If the fear was from a dream, one could rationalize it away.
If the fear is from seeing a tiger nearby, one must acknowledge the fear and run to safety.


I guess that depends on what the "dream" analogy stands for. This is one of the shortcomings I suffer with respect to Buddhism, and what this thread sort of, kind of revolves around... this idea of "waking up", of becoming "enlightened"... what is it? What does the awakened one actually realize.
I'm told it is that the world (and more importantly the self) is an illusion, and the "dream" metaphor is apt to describe what this is (sort of, kind of) like. If this is to be taken literally, then no, you don't need to fear the tiger and run to safety... no more than you would if you were dreaming of a tiger... but this all hinges on what the "dream" stands for, what one is really enlightened to. Maybe life really is important after all, that things do matter, but only taken in scope... maybe with respect to "God" level consciousness--the consciousness they say one arises to in the most enlightened states--human life is trivially insignificant, and therefore doesn't matter if one is eaten by a tiger. I'm really too ignorant to say because I'm too ignorant about what this "enlightenment" thing is and what that says about the value of human life and the world we live in... but... according to what they say--the whole dream analogy thing--I would think not even human life matters given that it is an illusion in the end.

Enlightenment is a gradual process* in knowing what things and reality really are.
*There are those who argue for sudden full enlightenment, but I don't subscribe to it.

In the gradual process of enlightenment the person realizes what reality is as it is, i.e.

    1. Reality is real
    2. Reality is not real

    or
    1. The self is real
    2. The self is not real

This is based on the Two-truths principle of Buddhism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_truths_doctrine

The ordinary person normally is stuck to one paradigm only, i.e. reality is as real as it it perceived.

The enlightening person realizes the nature of the two-truths as valid and do not clings or attaches to one truth only but understand the two-truths theory and applies them spontaneously.

In the process of enlightenment via practices and rewiring of the neurons in the brain, it is likely the person will experience some kind of altered states of consciousness but the practitioner is always advised to ignore them to avoid clinging to them like the drug addict.

The "doesn't matter if one is eaten by a tiger" is mere fantasy. However a highly enlightened person will try strive to survive the best s/he can but will not panicked with terrible fears if say cornered by a tiger with no possible escape then nature will takes its course.

Prismatic567 wrote:However what is most critical with Buddhism-proper is the subliminal unconscious fear of inevitable mortality. The main purpose of Buddhism-proper [as reflected in the Buddha Story and 4NT] is the modulation of the subconscious fear of mortality which is primary.

I don't really understand this. I've never heard of this "subliminal unconscious fear of inevitable mortality" in Buddhism. Is this just a fancy way of saying: fear of death?

It is say the subconscious mind is relatively dominant [90%] over the conscious mind [10%], i.e. like the tip of an iceberg.

There is a very significant nuance between the conscious fear of death and the unconscious fear of death.
An ordinary person as evolved is not supposed to have a constant fear of death, so as to avoid paralysis over such a fear. Thus a person who is constantly in fear of death is actually mentally ill, i.e. Thanatophobia and should see a psychiatrist.

    Death anxiety is anxiety caused by thoughts of death. One source defines death anxiety as a "feeling of dread, apprehension or solicitude (anxiety) when one thinks of the process of dying, or ceasing to 'be'".[1] Also referred to as thanatophobia (fear of death), death anxiety is distinguished from necrophobia, which is a specific fear of dead or dying people and/or things (i.e., fear of others who are dead or dying, not of one's own death or dying).[2]

    Additionally, there is anxiety caused by death-recent thought-content,[3] which might be classified within a clinical setting by a psychiatrist as morbid and/or abnormal, which for classification pre-necessitates a degree of anxiety which is persistent and interferes with everyday functioning.[4][5] Lower ego integrity, more physical problems and more psychological problems are predictive of higher levels of death anxiety in elderly people perceiving themselves close to death

Prismatic567 wrote:The conscious fear of mortality is secondary since humans are evolved with a natural mechanism to deal with it. [A] This is why the majority of people will claim they do not have a fear of death at least most of the time except in rare moments.


You mean in the sense that we normally acknowledge our inevitable death but then move on to other things--career, raising kids, having fun, producing things, etc.--and we just don't think about death most of the time?
Point is DNA wise all human are fortunately evolved with inhibitors to ensure we are not preoccupied with the idea of death all the time.
Else it would be a mental issue, i.e. thanatophobia as linked above.

Prismatic567 wrote:What is critical is the subliminal subconscious fear of mortality that is inhibited by the above [A] but there are leakages which exude and manifest as a cognitive dissonance which generate all sorts of psychosis, like severe anxieties, despairs, Angst and the likes. The main purpose of Buddhism-proper is to modulate [not get rid] these mental sufferings.


This is a new twist on Buddhism I have never heard of. Unless I misunderstand you, I would think the natural mechanism [A] which we use to deal with our fear of death is how we modulate our fear of death. What more is Buddhism doing to ameliorate this suffering? And what does "modulate" mean in this context?

As I mentioned there are two aspects to the fear of death, i.e.

    1. The conscious fear of death
    2. The subconscious fear of death

1. The conscious fear of death
Generally, there is no modulation of the conscious fear of death.
But all humans are endowed with natural mechanism via the DNA to deal with the conscious fear of death to enable humans to go on with their daily living. So it is automatic for the normal person.
Example may be triggered with the thought of death and some feeling of fears, if the person is informed of the death of one's kins or friends, etc. However such feeling of fears will wane and disappear on the conscious level.
If this natural mechanism weaken then we have a case of thanotophobia which need to be treated by a psychiatrist.

2. The subconscious fear of death
Meanwhile the more powerful subconscious mind is in the 'know' of the inevitability of mortality thus fears [subconscious fear of deaths] are neural reactions are triggered subconsciously.
Because they all happened subconsciously they are not directly made aware at the conscious level which has its natural mechanism to inhibit it.

BUT the turmoils of the fear of death at the subconscious level leak to other parts of the brain via complicated channels and manifest themselves at the conscious level as anxieties, despairs, Angst and other psychosis.
The problem with these dreaded feelings at the conscious levels is the ordinary humans do not know what are their root causes. What they are conscious is they have this dreaded feeling but do not know its root causes, so they seek solutions to soothe these dreaded existential pains/sufferings.

Most theists will simply belief in a God and the relief is immediate but problem is theism has its very heavy cons which is trending in outweighing its current net-pros position.
Many of the secular turned to drugs and other activities in an attempt to drown these dreaded feeling but end up with negative consequences.

Buddhism-proper applied its Life Problem Solving Technique grounded on the 4NT-8FP to resolve those dreaded feeling objectively, the first strategy is Right View of the problem, then Right Actions and other strategies.

What is central to Buddhism-proper is focused primary on the subconscious fears of death, as reflected in the Buddha Story - the ill, the aged, the corpse [death].

Modulation mean, Buddhism proper applies the Life Problem Solving Technique in building inhibitors in the relevant parts of the brain to modulate as in impulse control to regulate the impulses to ensure one do not end up with extreme position, thus the Middle-Way of Buddhism proper.

Note this;

    Inhibitory control, also known as response inhibition, is a cognitive process and more specifically, an executive function – that permits an individual to inhibit their impulses and natural, habitual, or dominant behavioral responses to stimuli (a.k.a. prepotent responses) in order to select a more appropriate behavior that is consistent with completing their goals.
    -wiki

The above will involve the rewiring of the relevant neurons in the brain.
Take for example, if a person want to get rid of a phobia, s/he will have to go through processes that involve the rewiring in the brain. Same with a newbie wanting to achieve a state of professionalism in any sport, skill, knowledge, etc.

There are various approach to Inhibitory Control or Impulse Control, however Buddhism-proper introduces a holistic approach.

As I had stated the Buddhism-proper approach is objective and is opened to more objective scrutiny with scientific research.
http://www.andrewnewberg.com/

    Andrew Newberg, a radiologist at the University of Pennsylvania, US, told BBC World Service's Discovery programme: "I think we are poised at a wonderful time in our history to be able to explore religion and spirituality in a way which was never thought possible."

    Using a brain imaging technique, Newberg and his team studied a group of Tibetan Buddhist monks as they meditated for approximately one hour.
    ...
    ...
    "Perhaps that [spiritual] sense of reality is more accurate than our scientific everyday sense of reality" Dr Newberg

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/sci/tech/1847442.stm

Btw, I am not officially a Buddhist [so not proselytizing] but merely one who appreciates and adopt some of its philosophy.
I am a progressive human being, a World Citizen, NOT-a-theist and not religious.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:29 pm

gib wrote:I believe you. But I think I'm highlighting a contradiction. While the texts say (according to you) that the way to alleviation of suffering is to suppress emotions, other stories seem to suggest that suffering is alleviated by realizing that the world is illusion, or that the self is illusion and therefore there is no one there to suffer (or something like that);
There are judgments of emotions even in that. If, really, your self does not exist, what are you getting so worked up about? If the world is an illusion, what are you getting so worked up about?

these are very different approaches, and they seem to contradict each other. Maybe the suppression of emotion is supposed to be the path towards enlightenment, but once enlightened, you realize there is nothing to be upset about (or to fear, or to be angry about) so you don't have to suppress any longer.

You don't train your brain to suppress emotions for 30 or more years of deep meditation and then suddenly let them go.

Or maybe the idea is that in order to attain enlightenment, it's enough just to act enlightened; if an enlightened one acts as though he is totally detached from this world, showing no emotional reaction to anything therein, then the key is to suppress one's emotions so as to act as if one is detached in the same way. But I would still say there is a world of difference between acting emotionally detached vs. being emotionally detached.
What you pretend to be well, you are to a great degree, which is why undercover cops and spies go through all sorts of emotional hell. If you have cut off the process whereby emotions are felt and expressed, on occasion with passion, then you are not simply pretending.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Fanman » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:09 pm

Prismatic,

I introduced the dam example.
In the case of Buddhism-proper the iterative problem-solving technique of Buddhism-proper will ensure the 'dam' within the individual is continually strengthen against discovered weaknesses.
Being human i.e. fallible and organic, it is possible for the 'dam' within the individual to burst. It has happened with some individuals [scandals of reputable Buddhist monks and scholars] but it is not the norm as long as one has strive to do their best.


When it comes to psychology, I don't think that we can “ensure” anything. Circumstances are, I think, the biggest factor in determining a person's psychological state. We can try to protect ourselves by using various techniques, doctrines/religions or what have you, but in the end all we can do is try and see what works for us as individuals. Modulating and optimising is what robots do...

The difference is Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions do not introduce the concept of building secure dams via continual rewiring the neurons in the brains of believers.


Then how would you explain Christians changing their lives? The fact that Christians change their lives is evidence that their dedication to their religion does build “dams” which prevent them from doing what they/the religion define as “sin”.

All a Christian, Muslim or Jew has to do is merely belief based on blind faith and viola one is saved. This is based on very flimsy neural inhibitors which are very sensitive to perceived threats. If one were to critique Christianity one will meet with all sorts of defenses and in the case of Islam, one could be killed merely by drawing of cartoons of Muhammad.


There is more to Christianity than just belief. Like Buddhism, it is a way of life separate to what the majority practice. If you're going to argue that merely belief constitutes a Christian, you'd be contradicting what you've previously propounded on that issue.

Buddhism-proper do not rely totally on beliefs but rather a Buddhist need constant practices [like a sportsperson or person of skill] to hone and continually improve and maintain one's skill.


In order to achieve an archaic perception of enlightenment?
Last edited by Fanman on Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Fanman » Wed Oct 16, 2019 6:18 pm

Karpel Tunnel,

Buddhism tends not to judge happiness as much as sadness, anger and fear, but if you were expressive, and/or desired the things that made you happy, that's a problem in Buddhism.


So rather than a person being in a particular gear, Buddhism promotes staying in neutral?

Most of us, by the time we have reached adulthood, have already been trained to suppress emotions and judge them and their expression. Then people are told that Buddhism is a scientific, value free approach to healing themselves. So, the new types of suppressive practices get lopped on top of suppressive practices and cognitive processes people have already learned in school, from parents, from societal judgments, from films and so on.


There is I feel a danger in continual suppression of emotion on top of us already doing so. Which could eventually be worse than expressing them. So rather than being a person, you become a-person.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:06 pm

Fanman wrote:So rather than a person being in a particular gear, Buddhism promotes staying in neutral?
You could say that. You could also say they don't indentify with the gears, but in this case the gears are integral to being human.

There is I feel a danger in continual suppression of emotion on top of us already doing so. Which could eventually be worse than expressing them. So rather than being a person, you become a-person.
Yes, most poople are so used to bottling stuff up they don't even notice much of it. And their fear that if they let that stuff out it would be dangrous (at least socially, if not worse) are probably true. It's like a bottle of mineral water that's been shaken (by life) for decades. You open that cap fast, could get an explosion. You have to do this in private, mostly, in the beginning. The last thing I need is another layer and more training in not being myself.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:55 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:When a Buddhist adopts the Buddhism-proper approach, i.e.
Buddhism-proper Life Problem-Solving Technique
s/he will not be be caught in a rut like you.


He or she is not in a rut because he or she does not construe an understanding of Buddhism as I do: as an existential contraption rooted in "I" rooted historically, culturally and experientially out in a particular world understood in a particular way. And given the manner in which his/her accumulated personal experiences predisposed him/her to think one way about it rather than another.

And, more crucially still, given the fact that new experiences, new relationships and access to new ideas [like mine] might well cause him or her to change his or her mind.

Instead, the extent to which, in turn, any particular Buddhist is an objectivist he has thought himself into believing that his beliefs are rooted in a conviction that Buddhism is essentially true. Including the part [for most Buddhists] that revolve around karma and reincarnation. Neither of which they are able to demonstrate actually do in fact exist. Either theologically, spiritually, philosophically or scientifically.

But one thing is clearly the case. That believing what they do about Buddhism brings them considerable comfort and consolation. It allows them, in turn, to ground "I" psychologically in something approaching both ontological and teleological transcendence. Something allowing them to put all the pain and suffering embedded in the "human condition" in a more "enlightened" perspective.

In other words, not unlike the hundreds and hundreds of additional religious/spiritual narratives that one can choose from. Only Buddhism [of course] really is the one true path.

Just as they would insist about their own paths.

Prismatic567 wrote:Perhaps if you run your dilemma through the above iterative technique it might be able to throw off the rut to reveal some ideas of the problems you are stuck in. The problem is only in the implementing and application of the solutions.


It doesn't work that way for me. This is just one more "general description" to me. Instead, I would need a Buddhist to take his or her own "techniques" out into the world and, in regard to a particular context relating to my own interest in religion, note how "for all practical purposes" Buddhism is aplicable to them. In the manner in which I would react to the context [and the behaviors] given the components of moral nihilism as I understand it.

As for this:


Prismatic567 wrote:One of the iterative process is going through the 8 fold path;

THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
    Right understanding (Samma ditthi), aka Right View,
    Right thought (Samma sankappa)
    Right speech (Samma vaca)
    Right action (Samma kammanta)
    Right livelihood (Samma ajiva)
    Right effort (Samma vayama)
    Right mindfulness (Samma sati)
    Right concentration (Samma samadhi)


...same thing. How would these abstractions fare given a particular set of circumstances in which identity, value judgments and political economy are examined given that which is construed to be "Right".

Prismatic567 wrote:From what I gather from your post, you obviously is not having the Right View or Right Understanding and Right Thought, of the problem you are facing, thus going round in circles and so is caught in a rut.


Okay, let's focus in on a particular context and examine our respective behaviors. You as a Buddhist, me as a moral nihilist.
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:16 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

I introduced the dam example.
In the case of Buddhism-proper the iterative problem-solving technique of Buddhism-proper will ensure the 'dam' within the individual is continually strengthen against discovered weaknesses.
Being human i.e. fallible and organic, it is possible for the 'dam' within the individual to burst. It has happened with some individuals [scandals of reputable Buddhist monks and scholars] but it is not the norm as long as one has strive to do their best.


When it comes to psychology, I don't think that we can “ensure” anything. Circumstances are, I think, the biggest factor in determining a person's psychological state. We can try to protect ourselves by using various techniques, doctrines/religions or what have you, but in the end all we can do is try and see what works for us as individuals. Modulating and optimising is what robots do...

What is critical here is to keep asking, is the Right View one is currently holding the Right View thus to seek whatever possible incremental improvements over our existing state.
Odd that you cannot see humans do modulate and optimize within whatever constraints they are facing.

The difference is Christianity and the other Abrahamic religions do not introduce the concept of building secure dams via continual rewiring the neurons in the brains of believers.


Then how would you explain Christians changing their lives? The fact that Christians change their lives is evidence that their dedication to their religion does build “dams” which prevent them from doing what they/the religion define as “sin”.

Christians come in many shades and thus there is a range of improvements within them.
However, whatever the peace Christians achieve, there is an underlying fear of God and going to hell just in case they sinned.
Buddhism on the other hand do not begin with any threat of hell nor induces fears.

One point is, the maximum spiritual state a Christian can achieve is 6/10 [graduate school] but for a Buddhist it is 9/10 [PhD].
For example a Christian rely merely on blind faith and prayers but for the average Buddhist there are real effort in rewiring the brain for the better, based on sophisticated knowledge, reflection, concentration and mindfulness exercises within a iterative problem solving model.

All a Christian, Muslim or Jew has to do is merely belief based on blind faith and viola one is saved. This is based on very flimsy neural inhibitors which are very sensitive to perceived threats. If one were to critique Christianity one will meet with all sorts of defenses and in the case of Islam, one could be killed merely by drawing of cartoons of Muhammad.


There is more to Christianity than just belief. Like Buddhism, it is a way of life separate to what the majority practice. If you're going to argue that merely belief constitutes a Christian, you'd be contradicting what you've previously propounded on that issue.

On average Christianity is restricted to prayers and blind faith.
At the extreme there are Christians who are mystics and they are more appropriately classified as mystics than Christians.

Buddhism-proper do not rely totally on beliefs but rather a Buddhist need constant practices [like a sportsperson or person of skill] to hone and continually improve and maintain one's skill.


In order to achieve an archaic perception of enlightenment?

Nope, these are achievements that can be validated by Science.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:19 am

iambiguous wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:When a Buddhist adopts the Buddhism-proper approach, i.e.
Buddhism-proper Life Problem-Solving Technique
s/he will not be be caught in a rut like you.


He or she is not in a rut because he or she does not construe an understanding of Buddhism as I do: as an existential contraption rooted in "I" rooted historically, culturally and experientially out in a particular world understood in a particular way. And given the manner in which his/her accumulated personal experiences predisposed him/her to think one way about it rather than another.

And, more crucially still, given the fact that new experiences, new relationships and access to new ideas [like mine] might well cause him or her to change his or her mind.

Instead, the extent to which, in turn, any particular Buddhist is an objectivist he has thought himself into believing that his beliefs are rooted in a conviction that Buddhism is essentially true. Including the part [for most Buddhists] that revolve around karma and reincarnation. Neither of which they are able to demonstrate actually do in fact exist. Either theologically, spiritually, philosophically or scientifically.

But one thing is clearly the case. That believing what they do about Buddhism brings them considerable comfort and consolation. It allows them, in turn, to ground "I" psychologically in something approaching both ontological and teleological transcendence. Something allowing them to put all the pain and suffering embedded in the "human condition" in a more "enlightened" perspective.

In other words, not unlike the hundreds and hundreds of additional religious/spiritual narratives that one can choose from. Only Buddhism [of course] really is the one true path.

Just as they would insist about their own paths.

Prismatic567 wrote:Perhaps if you run your dilemma through the above iterative technique it might be able to throw off the rut to reveal some ideas of the problems you are stuck in. The problem is only in the implementing and application of the solutions.


It doesn't work that way for me. This is just one more "general description" to me. Instead, I would need a Buddhist to take his or her own "techniques" out into the world and, in regard to a particular context relating to my own interest in religion, note how "for all practical purposes" Buddhism is aplicable to them. In the manner in which I would react to the context [and the behaviors] given the components of moral nihilism as I understand it.

As for this:


Prismatic567 wrote:One of the iterative process is going through the 8 fold path;

THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
    Right understanding (Samma ditthi), aka Right View,
    Right thought (Samma sankappa)
    Right speech (Samma vaca)
    Right action (Samma kammanta)
    Right livelihood (Samma ajiva)
    Right effort (Samma vayama)
    Right mindfulness (Samma sati)
    Right concentration (Samma samadhi)


...same thing. How would these abstractions fare given a particular set of circumstances in which identity, value judgments and political economy are examined given that which is construed to be "Right".

Prismatic567 wrote:From what I gather from your post, you obviously is not having the Right View or Right Understanding and Right Thought, of the problem you are facing, thus going round in circles and so is caught in a rut.


Okay, let's focus in on a particular context and examine our respective behaviors. You as a Buddhist, me as a moral nihilist.

We have gone tru this before thus not interested in wasting time on this.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby gib » Thu Oct 17, 2019 6:20 am

Prismatic567 wrote:In the gradual process of enlightenment the person realizes what reality is as it is, i.e.

1. Reality is real
2. Reality is not real

or
1. The self is real
2. The self is not real

This is based on the Two-truths principle of Buddhism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_truths_doctrine

The ordinary person normally is stuck to one paradigm only, i.e. reality is as real as it it perceived.

The enlightening person realizes the nature of the two-truths as valid and do not clings or attaches to one truth only but understand the two-truths theory and applies them spontaneously


This just confuses me even more. Reality is real and not real at the same time??? Do you claim to understand this? Have you been enlightened? Or are you just relaying the reports of others who have claimed to be enlightened? Personally, I would call the two-truths principle as I see it--a contradiction--something that by definition makes no sense. I mean, maybe a better way of putting it is to say there are two different perspectives one can take on reality--in one sense real, in another like a dream--but in the final analysis, it must be one thing. Or maybe it's meant to be interpreted as: everything is mental (I could actually hop on board this)... so one could say things are not really materially out there but at the same time things are real in the mind... or something like that.

Prismatic567 wrote:The "doesn't matter if one is eaten by a tiger" is mere fantasy. However a highly enlightened person will try strive to survive the best s/he can but will not panicked with terrible fears if say cornered by a tiger with no possible escape then nature will takes its course.


What motivates him to strive for survival if not the fear? Why is it important?

Prismatic567 wrote:1. The conscious fear of death
Generally, there is no modulation of the conscious fear of death.
But all humans are endowed with natural mechanism via the DNA to deal with the conscious fear of death to enable humans to go on with their daily living. So it is automatic for the normal person.
Example may be triggered with the thought of death and some feeling of fears, if the person is informed of the death of one's kins or friends, etc. However such feeling of fears will wane and disappear on the conscious level.
If this natural mechanism weaken then we have a case of thanotophobia which need to be treated by a psychiatrist.


Are these natural mechanism of DNA not automatic "modulators" of our fear of death? What does modulation mean to you?

Prismatic567 wrote:BUT the turmoils of the fear of death at the subconscious level leak to other parts of the brain via complicated channels and manifest themselves at the conscious level as anxieties, despairs, Angst and other psychosis.
The problem with these dreaded feelings at the conscious levels is the ordinary humans do not know what are their root causes. What they are conscious is they have this dreaded feeling but do not know its root causes, so they seek solutions to soothe these dreaded existential pains/sufferings.


This sounds like a very specific condition. I don't think everybody suffers unexplained fears to a noticeable extent.

Prismatic567 wrote:Modulation mean, Buddhism proper applies the Life Problem Solving Technique in building inhibitors in the relevant parts of the brain to modulate as in impulse control to regulate the impulses to ensure one do not end up with extreme position, thus the Middle-Way of Buddhism proper.


Neurologically, this doesn't sound that different from suppression. What does it feel like subjectively? And how does the subjective experience of modulating your emotions differ from the subjective experience of suppressing your emotions?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:There are judgments of emotions even in that. If, really, your self does not exist, what are you getting so worked up about? If the world is an illusion, what are you getting so worked up about?


So you stop fearing a tiger because you suddenly realize it's not real, and that's a judgement of fear? How would you go about not judging fear after waking from a nightmare? Force yourself to still be afraid even though you know the monster isn't real?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:You don't train your brain to suppress emotions for 30 or more years of deep meditation and then suddenly let them go.


What do you think would happen if you've been suppressing your fears of a monster for 30 years and then realized the monster isn't even real?

Karpel Tunnel wrote:What you pretend to be well, you are to a great degree, which is why undercover cops and spies go through all sorts of emotional hell. If you have cut off the process whereby emotions are felt and expressed, on occasion with passion, then you are not simply pretending.


I don't think that's true at all, at least not in the way I experience suppression of emotion. Suppression of emotion is something you definitely feel. You fight your emotions, you grapple with them. If you've successfully cut your emotions off, there isn't even a struggle anymore. Pretending to not feel fear is simply a matter of behaving as though you don't feel fear, but you're simply masking an internal struggle between your fear and your attempt to cut off the fear (if you succeed, you've broken something). This is wildly different from not feeling fear at all because you realize the thing you fear isn't actually real--different at least in terms of the subjective experience, though the behavior might seem the same.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Oct 17, 2019 1:01 pm

gib wrote:
Karpel Tunnel wrote:There are judgments of emotions even in that. If, really, your self does not exist, what are you getting so worked up about? If the world is an illusion, what are you getting so worked up about?


So you stop fearing a tiger because you suddenly realize it's not real, and that's a judgement of fear?
You are slowly training yourself to disconnect from fears, so it is not a sudden realization. The judgment of fear is in the process. And to not be afraid of a tiger would be some incredibly advanced stage. I am pretty sure most masters would get afraid, and it would be a primal harnessing of the body. But social fears, worries related to job, love, distant death, friendship, being cool or great or talented, these will all be suppressed over time.
How would you go about not judging fear after waking from a nightmare? Force yourself to still be afraid even though you know the monster isn't real?
The training is preventative and cumulative. Sure, ti would be good, after the nightmare, according to many strands of Buddhism, to observe your fear and not identify with it. But I am not sure quite what you are asking here.

What do you think would happen if you've been suppressing your fears of a monster for 30 years and then realized the monster isn't even real?
I don't really know what that means. And you are asking me what a 30 year practitioner of Buddhism would experience. I don't know. I just what they are training and how they interact with me and other people. And then their vibe.

Karpel Tunnel wrote:What you pretend to be well, you are to a great degree, which is why undercover cops and spies go through all sorts of emotional hell. If you have cut off the process whereby emotions are felt and expressed, on occasion with passion, then you are not simply pretending.


I don't think that's true at all, at least not in the way I experience suppression of emotion. Suppression of emotion is something you definitely feel.

Sure, until you get good at it. And the fact likely is that you are already suppressing emotions due to upbringing culture and more. Some things you are already good at suppressing and to some degree suppressing...you are good at with many things. Buddhism will, slowly over time, complete this process, if you are dedicated. I mean, parts of the brain, limbs will atrophy is they are not used. Neural pathways will disappear or have fewer nerves. Suppression becomes habitual. You don't have to think about driving when driving much of the time. You stop having to think about suppressing the pattern is in place.


You fight your emotions, you grapple with them. If you've successfully cut your emotions off, there isn't even a struggle anymore. Pretending to not feel fear is simply a matter of behaving as though you don't feel fear, but you're simply masking an internal struggle between your fear and your attempt to cut off the fear (if you succeed, you've broken something).
Pretending involves suppression. The emotions are being trained not to express. You then immediately experience them in a less than full form. Over time pretending to be a jerk will lead you to have jerk habits. Pretending is a kind of training.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Fanman » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:47 pm

Prismatic,

What is critical here is to keep asking, is the Right View one is currently holding the Right View thus to seek whatever possible incremental improvements over our existing state.
Odd that you cannot see humans do modulate and optimize within whatever constraints they are facing.


This is too mechanised. We can never be 100% sure that the view we hold is right. As such, our views are usually influenced by the current information available to us, what we feel is right and what we can justifiably believe. We are not a compilation of ones and zeros, we ebb and flow. We do modulate and optimise things like businesses or computer programs, but I don't think that we can modulate and optimise feelings and emotions. I don't understand why would anyone want such a high degree of control? Is that even human?

Christians come in many shades and thus there is a range of improvements within them.
However, whatever the peace Christians achieve, there is an underlying fear of God and going to hell just in case they sinned.
Buddhism on the other hand do not begin with any threat of hell nor induces fears.


But Buddhism is the same in the sense that it promotes that carnality is wrong and needs to be suppressed. I don't believe that carnality is wrong, it just needs to be expressed at the right places and times.

One point is, the maximum spiritual state a Christian can achieve is 6/10 [graduate school] but for a Buddhist it is 9/10 [PhD].
For example a Christian rely merely on blind faith and prayers but for the average Buddhist there are real effort in rewiring the brain for the better, based on sophisticated knowledge, reflection, concentration and mindfulness exercises within a iterative problem solving model.


There is much more to Christianity than blind faith and prayers. Either you don't properly know what Christianity entails, or your being purposely bias about it. Christianity involves all of those facets you mention, it is just done in a different way to Buddhism. How does one measure the scale to which a person has achieved a spiritual state? If there's no universally accepted scale, then its just your opinion. What reasons are there for me to agree with your arbitrary conclusion?

On average Christianity is restricted to prayers and blind faith.
At the extreme there are Christians who are mystics and they are more appropriately classified as mystics than Christians.


Excuse my tone, but this is arbitrary nonsense. Why should I believe this?

Nope, these are achievements that can be validated by Science.


Science validates spiritual enlightenment :!: What then, is Science's definition of a spiritually enlightened person, bearing in mind how vague the term "spirituality" is? Please, enlighten me.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby iambiguous » Thu Oct 17, 2019 8:36 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:
iambiguous wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:When a Buddhist adopts the Buddhism-proper approach, i.e.
Buddhism-proper Life Problem-Solving Technique
s/he will not be be caught in a rut like you.


He or she is not in a rut because he or she does not construe an understanding of Buddhism as I do: as an existential contraption rooted in "I" rooted historically, culturally and experientially out in a particular world understood in a particular way. And given the manner in which his/her accumulated personal experiences predisposed him/her to think one way about it rather than another.

And, more crucially still, given the fact that new experiences, new relationships and access to new ideas [like mine] might well cause him or her to change his or her mind.

Instead, the extent to which, in turn, any particular Buddhist is an objectivist he has thought himself into believing that his beliefs are rooted in a conviction that Buddhism is essentially true. Including the part [for most Buddhists] that revolve around karma and reincarnation. Neither of which they are able to demonstrate actually do in fact exist. Either theologically, spiritually, philosophically or scientifically.

But one thing is clearly the case. That believing what they do about Buddhism brings them considerable comfort and consolation. It allows them, in turn, to ground "I" psychologically in something approaching both ontological and teleological transcendence. Something allowing them to put all the pain and suffering embedded in the "human condition" in a more "enlightened" perspective.

In other words, not unlike the hundreds and hundreds of additional religious/spiritual narratives that one can choose from. Only Buddhism [of course] really is the one true path.

Just as they would insist about their own paths.

Prismatic567 wrote:Perhaps if you run your dilemma through the above iterative technique it might be able to throw off the rut to reveal some ideas of the problems you are stuck in. The problem is only in the implementing and application of the solutions.


It doesn't work that way for me. This is just one more "general description" to me. Instead, I would need a Buddhist to take his or her own "techniques" out into the world and, in regard to a particular context relating to my own interest in religion, note how "for all practical purposes" Buddhism is aplicable to them. In the manner in which I would react to the context [and the behaviors] given the components of moral nihilism as I understand it.

As for this:


Prismatic567 wrote:One of the iterative process is going through the 8 fold path;

THE NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH
    Right understanding (Samma ditthi), aka Right View,
    Right thought (Samma sankappa)
    Right speech (Samma vaca)
    Right action (Samma kammanta)
    Right livelihood (Samma ajiva)
    Right effort (Samma vayama)
    Right mindfulness (Samma sati)
    Right concentration (Samma samadhi)


...same thing. How would these abstractions fare given a particular set of circumstances in which identity, value judgments and political economy are examined given that which is construed to be "Right".

Prismatic567 wrote:From what I gather from your post, you obviously is not having the Right View or Right Understanding and Right Thought, of the problem you are facing, thus going round in circles and so is caught in a rut.


Okay, let's focus in on a particular context and examine our respective behaviors. You as a Buddhist, me as a moral nihilist.

We have gone tru this before thus not interested in wasting time on this.


Another objectivist bites the dust!

In my head as it were. :wink:
He was like a man who wanted to change all; and could not; so burned with his impotence; and had only me, an infinitely small microcosm to convert or detest. John Fowles

Start here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=176529
Then here: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=185296
And here: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=194382
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Karpel Tunnel » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:06 pm

Prismatic567 wrote:Christians come in many shades and thus there is a range of improvements within them.
However, whatever the peace Christians achieve, there is an underlying fear of God and going to hell just in case they sinned.
Buddhism on the other hand do not begin with any threat of hell nor induces fears.
Your whole thesis for years has been that theists come up with belief in God to assuage their fears. Why would they add in portions that are scary. In fact, there is nothing scarier the Hell. Between being tortured for eternity and oblivion most humans would choose oblivion. You can't have your fear hypothesis presented as fact that then later, in another context talk about the fears created by Christianity. It would have been so easy to not have this terrifying aspect to their religion. In fact there are theisms without it.

On average Christianity is restricted to prayers and blind faith.
NOt according to them. Most will refer to experiences of presence, closeness to God, feeling a connection to God, feeling peace in church, feeling the power of rituals...and more. Many will talk about changes after they rededeicated their faith or converted or confessed or participated in a ritual.
At the extreme there are Christians who are mystics and they are more appropriately classified as mystics than Christians.
That's the same with Buddhists. Most Buddhists 1) believe in supernatural entities 2) are not disciplined meditators 3) pay monks to bless this or that 4) irregularly attend temples and practices. They work on faith that Buddhism will end the wheel of karma or free them from pain or whatever.

Most religions have few disciplined and dedicated practitioners.

Nope, these are achievements that can be validated by Science.
focusing on limited facets of the changes.
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 7:55 am

gib wrote:
Prismatic567 wrote:In the gradual process of enlightenment the person realizes what reality is as it is, i.e.

1. Reality is real
2. Reality is not real

or
1. The self is real
2. The self is not real

This is based on the Two-truths principle of Buddhism.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two_truths_doctrine

The ordinary person normally is stuck to one paradigm only, i.e. reality is as real as it it perceived.

The enlightening person realizes the nature of the two-truths as valid and do not clings or attaches to one truth only but understand the two-truths theory and applies them spontaneously


This just confuses me even more. Reality is real and not real at the same time??? Do you claim to understand this? Have you been enlightened? Or are you just relaying the reports of others who have claimed to be enlightened?

Personally, I would call the two-truths principle as I see it--a contradiction--something that by definition makes no sense. I mean, maybe a better way of putting it is to say there are two different perspectives one can take on reality--in one sense real, in another like a dream--but in the final analysis, it must be one thing. Or maybe it's meant to be interpreted as: everything is mental (I could actually hop on board this)... so one could say things are not really materially out there but at the same time things are real in the mind... or something like that.

Within Buddhism-proper it is ok to discuss about 'enlightenment' but one should not focus on whether one is enlightened or not so as to avoid the ego clinging to something.

The two-truths principle is not a contradiction since both are not to be taken at the same time and in the same sense.

    For example a diamond gem can be said to be both hard and soft but only taken in different time and different perspective.
    If we deliberate the diamond gem from the physical perspective, then a diamond gem is one of the hardest material.
    However if we shift perspective in time and view the diamond gem using an electron microscope, then it is not solid and hard if we use a electron pin to poke through it.

    It is the same with water being soft and hard but only in a different time and different perspective.
    It is only recently that I learned water is used to cut steel by shooting the water under intense pressure within a micro outlet.

In the above example neither of the two perspectives are in a dream.

In the case of the self, there are two perspectives i.e. the self is a real person with a body, spirit and mind.
But Hume provided an alternative view of the self, i.e.


Why is the two-truths theory critical in Buddhism-proper is to avoid eternalism of the self.
Those who are stuck in one paradigm will believe the self in the current existence is an entity and such an entity will continue to survive after physical death. Such a belief leads to sufferings for the individual[s] [Angst, anxieties, etc.] and humanity [God driven evil and violence].

As in Buddhist-proper, the "enlightened" individual will spontaneously adapt within time to the relevant perspective to optimize one's well being.
As such, within the empirical world, the Buddhist will take the self and person as a real entity not an unreal illusion.
But if the existential crisis forces are to impede upon his/her consciousness, then the Buddhist will shift to the perspective what is deemed to be real in the empirical self is unreal empirically, thus avoid grasping at the unreal into say -theism with all its negative baggage.

The above is the theory, but with the practices of Buddhism-proper [others as well] the toggling from one perspective to the other will be done spontaneously and naturally in nano-seconds, thus different time.


Prismatic567 wrote:The "doesn't matter if one is eaten by a tiger" is mere fantasy. However a highly enlightened person will try strive to survive the best s/he can but will not panicked with terrible fears if say cornered by a tiger with no possible escape then nature will takes its course.

What motivates him to strive for survival if not the fear? Why is it important?

Striving for survival is coded in the human DNA, thus humans need to flow [modulated] with it so as to resist would triggering pains, the exception is only with those with suicidal impulses.

Prismatic567 wrote:1. The conscious fear of death
Generally, there is no modulation of the conscious fear of death.
But all humans are endowed with natural mechanism via the DNA to deal with the conscious fear of death to enable humans to go on with their daily living. So it is automatic for the normal person.
Example may be triggered with the thought of death and some feeling of fears, if the person is informed of the death of one's kins or friends, etc. However such feeling of fears will wane and disappear on the conscious level.
If this natural mechanism weaken then we have a case of thanotophobia which need to be treated by a psychiatrist.

Are these natural mechanism of DNA not automatic "modulators" of our fear of death? What does modulation mean to you?

In a way they are 'modulators' but they are instinctual and spontaneous.
It is just like homeostasis [body temperature] which in a way involve modulators but they are instinctual.

Re 'modulators' I was targeting at modulators which humans can establish via self-improvement programs.
For example, one reason why people do fasting is to be able to modulate their hunger pangs so they do not gorge themselves with food whenever they feel hungry.

Note Delayed Gratification;
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impulse_(psychology)

Prismatic567 wrote:BUT the turmoils of the fear of death at the subconscious level leak to other parts of the brain via complicated channels and manifest themselves at the conscious level as anxieties, despairs, Angst and other psychosis.
The problem with these dreaded feelings at the conscious levels is the ordinary humans do not know what are their root causes. What they are conscious is they have this dreaded feeling but do not know its root causes, so they seek solutions to soothe these dreaded existential pains/sufferings.


This sounds like a very specific condition. I don't think everybody suffers unexplained fears to a noticeable extent.

I believe every human suffers from unexplained unease feeling which are triggered deep from the fear circuit.
It is because of its nature 'unexplained feelings of discomfort' that most people cannot relate them to have arise fundamentally from the fear-circuit.

Note the example of theists and agnostics.
They normally has some sort of feeling of unease giving rise to loss of meaning of life, despairs, anxieties, Angst, hopelessness but these sort of feelings vanishes almost immediately when they surrender to a God who has the omnipotent power to assure their problem will be resolved.

Prismatic567 wrote:Modulation mean, Buddhism proper applies the Life Problem Solving Technique in building inhibitors in the relevant parts of the brain to modulate as in impulse control to regulate the impulses to ensure one do not end up with extreme position, thus the Middle-Way of Buddhism proper.


Neurologically, this doesn't sound that different from suppression. What does it feel like subjectively? And how does the subjective experience of modulating your emotions differ from the subjective experience of suppressing your emotions?

In context "suppression" imply the use of conscious mental efforts to avoid certain mental impulses, pains, hunger, sex, etc.

For example, when one is stricken with hunger pangs one can rush for food or one can suppress the hunger pain by various means e.g. fighting the impulse consciously.

One good example say, a person were to do a 30 days or two-months fasting program.
In the first week, the person would have to mentally 'fight' the hunger pangs, thus 'suppression'.
By the third week, the person would not have to fight but would have developed modulators [neural inhibitors] within the brain so as flow with the program, thus the hunger pangs which will arise naturally in the absence of nutrition would be modulated, i.e. regulated spontaneously without having to fight and suppress the hunger pang.

That my view of the difference between 'suppression' and 'modulating'
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Re: I don't get Buddhism

Postby Prismatic567 » Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:29 am

Fanman wrote:Prismatic,

What is critical here is to keep asking, is the Right View one is currently holding the Right View thus to seek whatever possible incremental improvements over our existing state.
Odd that you cannot see humans do modulate and optimize within whatever constraints they are facing.


This is too mechanised. We can never be 100% sure that the view we hold is right. As such, our views are usually influenced by the current information available to us, what we feel is right and what we can justifiably believe. We are not a compilation of ones and zeros, we ebb and flow. We do modulate and optimise things like businesses or computer programs, but I don't think that we can modulate and optimise feelings and emotions. I don't understand why would anyone want such a high degree of control? Is that even human?

There are many ways to establish what is Right.
One is the absolute Right as a guide within Philosophy of Morality and Ethics.
In other cases the human body and mind has markers as to what is Right, for example eating the right amount, as over eating would give a sense of diminishing returns or obesity related diseases.

My point is, it is more productive to be guided by what is Right then no guidance at all.
To be effective one will start with a hypothetical 'Right View' then change it to optimize the situation subject to the Moral Right and other Rights.

Christians come in many shades and thus there is a range of improvements within them.
However, whatever the peace Christians achieve, there is an underlying fear of God and going to hell just in case they sinned.
Buddhism on the other hand do not begin with any threat of hell nor induces fears.


But Buddhism is the same in the sense that it promotes that carnality is wrong and needs to be suppressed. I don't believe that carnality is wrong, it just needs to be expressed at the right places and times.

Yes there are similarities between Christianity and Buddhism.
However I have highlighted the critical difference, i.e. the underlying fear of God in Christianity while there is no such thing in atheistic Buddhism.

I differentiate suppression and modulation in my above post.
Christianity involve more on suppression but Buddhism involve more in modulation.

One point is, the maximum spiritual state a Christian can achieve is 6/10 [graduate school] but for a Buddhist it is 9/10 [PhD].
For example a Christian rely merely on blind faith and prayers but for the average Buddhist there are real effort in rewiring the brain for the better, based on sophisticated knowledge, reflection, concentration and mindfulness exercises within a iterative problem solving model.


There is much more to Christianity than blind faith and prayers. Either you don't properly know what Christianity entails, or your being purposely bias about it. Christianity involves all of those facets you mention, it is just done in a different way to Buddhism. How does one measure the scale to which a person has achieved a spiritual state? If there's no universally accepted scale, then its just your opinion. What reasons are there for me to agree with your arbitrary conclusion?

The sole guidance of Christianity is merely the Gospel of Jesus Christ, i.e. 'Christ' being the common denominator, i.e. max at high school++.
It is so easy to exhaust the knowledge within the doctrine of the Gospel of Christ as reported by the 4 apostles. There are no detailed spiritual exercises in the Gospel.

On the other hand there is an extensive range of knowledge and practices within Buddhism to max at the PhD levels.

On average Christianity is restricted to prayers and blind faith.
At the extreme there are Christians who are mystics and they are more appropriately classified as mystics than Christians.


Excuse my tone, but this is arbitrary nonsense. Why should I believe this?

Note my point above.
Christian mystics will find what they are doing in the Buddhist texts to some extent but not the complete range of knowledge and practices.
This is why there are many Buddhist-Christians who are inclined to Buddhist principles and practices but rarely Christian-Buddhists.

Nope, these are achievements that can be validated by Science.

Science validates spiritual enlightenment :!: What then, is Science's definition of a spiritually enlightened person, bearing in mind how vague the term "spirituality" is? Please, enlighten me.

See Newberg's site.
http://www.andrewnewberg.com/research

The Dalai Lama has allowed scientists access to highly experienced monks and do research with them;


Note there are a tons of research materials on the above subject.
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