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Buddhism

To: thelema-list
From: tyagi nagasiva
Subj: Buddhism (9405.buddhsm.tn)
Date: 49940516

Quoting: |Arlie

|to assert the existence of dukkha is important to addressing it as a problem.
|The Buddha did this like a doctor.

However, the Buddha generalized, it seems, saying that dukkha is caused by
craving, what I call 'lust for result'.  Our craving leads to our attachment
and, since the nature of things is that they are impermanent, when they fade
or move away, then we suffer the consequences (quite literally).

Buddhist rhetoric is merely a description/model.  If it is useful, apply it, 
if not, abandon it quickly.  It is not presumed to be true by the wise, for
no words encompass truth (not even these).  At best they point to it.

|When this sorrow becomes inconvenient/unpleasant, one useful 
|strategy is to get rid of the attachment.

Easy to say.  Some compare most activity in this regard with a rodent's
efforts to escape the cage by running in the exercise wheel quickly. :>
I'd love to hear how you go about 'getting rid' of this attachment,
especially if you know of a particularly 'thelemic' way of doing it.

|My problems with this part of Buddhist philosophy begins when the assertion
|becomes "*All* life is sorrow" 

My impression is that the only way to understand the value of this assertion
is to interpret 'life' in a specific manner.  By 'life' I mean here a kind
of limited experience, perhaps akin to the II~ of OTO and various other
symbolic states of attainment.  In order to move through and/or beyond the
sorrow, one must die, subjectively, really a kind of release of life.  When
this is accomplished, then one is not really 'alive' any more, and so the
sorrow/suffering can cease.


|and the goal state becomes to detach from 
|everything, and thus free oneself from the cycle of incarnation. 

I've found this everywhere in our world, desire to escape attachment, and I
honestly think that the fact that I've found it everywhere is an indication
just how widespread dukkha is.  People are in a mad scramble to get out of
living because they are identifying life with pain and fantasize that
eliminating the pain will net them freedom.  I say that all it will net
them is an early death of one kind or another, because life *is* pain, and
coming to understand this is the first step in resolving it.
 

|Dwelling on this viewpoint seems to result in experiencing more pain, rather 
|than less, 

Precisely, especially if understood in specific ways, like you describe.


|*and* avoiding a significant amount of pleasure. 

This is why I call most traditional mystical and religious paths 'ascetic'.
They are addicted to restriction as their means of release, only later 
finding that it can become a trap in itself.


|It can be argued that I should make no difference between pleasure and pain. 

Such an argument is ridiculous.  If you don't, you don't.  If you do, then
no amount of telling you what 'you should do' is going to help.  That's one
of the things I enjoy about the better Buddhist metaphysics - they are
descriptive.  They don't tell you what to do, only what some have 
experienced when they have done certain things.


|At the moment, I choose to make that distinction, and would have great 
|difficulty not making it, even if I cared to try. 

I'm convinced that it is a useful discernment in bodily life.  Those who
truly transcend the distinction in their subjective lives are the most
accomplished masters.  Arguing that 'we should' become the most accomplished
masters is the surest way to kill a joyful goal.  However, if one transcends
the ability to discern pain in others, then I feel that this is the mark of
the truly evil.  You speak about what I would call 'complete detachment', 
and arguing for it, which some do, is alot like arguing for all Yang or all
Yin.  Without compassion to balance out detachment, we cannot arrive at 
nonattachment, Nirvana.
 

|Besides, if no difference is to be made, why try to free oneself from
|incarnation ?

Here is the most sweet mystery, no?  Study of Nagarjuna reveals that
everything is empty (sunyata, empty of own being).  If everything is
empty, then who is to achieve?  If everything is empty, then what is
to be achieved?  This is the essential argument when I speak of the
'sin of practice', for positing that I need to do X so as to achieve
Y, I also posit that where I am now, Q, is not Y and that X will move
me to Y.  'Let no difference be made among you.'
 

|Arlie 

Haramullah, Demongod of Marriage (let's all be the Demongods of Marriage!)

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