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Suffering and addiction?

  1. Oct 18, 2003 #1
    The nature of our suffering.

    The little reading and discussion I have had about Buddhist theology and precepts has shown me that they essentially are striving to find a path to cease the suffering. To avoid having to re-incarnate thus avoiding the eternal cycle of suffering. Suffice to say Buddha believed that to exist one can not do so with out suffering.

    May be I am wrong in this observation and actually this is not what I want to discuss whether I am wrong of not but the nature of suffering it self.

    One intuitively knows that without suffering there is no pleasure. We often say that too much of a good thing leads to suffering thus suggesting a path of austerity being a better one than one of over indulgence.

    In trying to explain this in an analogous way to my aging father one day as we were walking on the beach....I used a stretch of plain uninteresting sand as an example of austerity.....nothing to see just the sand. I then threw a sea shell into this austerity and I thought that this could symbolise pleasure. “A single flower in a sea of green trees.”

    I then threw a hole heap of shells over the sand and there was much pleasure to be seen. I went on to say to my father that now that we have the sand covered with pleasure, the pleasure itself has become suffering.


    His response was to sweep away all the shells and uncover the austerity we started with thus completing the cycle of suffering and pleasure. The sand is now austere and a symbol of Moo or nothingness.

    Addiction I have found is when the pleasure is unable to return to Moo....or centre and thus the addict just keeps adding more pleasure on top, in this context it may be a bit of sea weed (excuse the pun ) and now there are shells and seaweed but yet this is not enough and so the pleasure just gets more and more painful for there is less to add, until the addict either learns to clear the beach sand or he has the potential to die.

    Most of the time we can clear the beach only in part and manage to maintain a level of suffering but not cure ourselves of addiction. To succeed in full is to be able to return to a state of a clear beach and achieve satisfaction from austerity. (After all a clear beach can be so beautiful on it's own with out the shells)

    Today’s modern society I feel is unable to clear the beach too well. We seem to be compelled to pursue pleasure more and more with out clearing the beach. We find less and less pleasure in new things for we are nearing our limits of what we can add to the beach (pleasure-ability).

    In search of a new model mobile phone, a faster car, a better holiday destination, better sex, a new designer drug, a newer and more complex video game etc etc

    So the Key to enjoying life is not just adding pleasure to remove the suffering of
    a previous pleasure but to as the Buddhist tend to do and strive to find austerity and find pleasure in the mundane. Meditation is one of the methods. To be able to find a centre of austere peace.

    As is well known it is the contrast between suffering and pleasure that makes it all so good. But there is a level of natural sufferance and addicted sufferance.

    So when people talk of living a simple life with simple pleasures they are talking wisely I feel.
    I would love comments and input to this thread.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 18, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2003 #2
    This is one of the most wise things I think I have ever heard. Now I don't know anything about Buhhdism, but assuming what you've said about them is true, they have a pretty good idea. I might note that I'm a Christian, and most people who claim to be Christians don't seem to have noticed that Jesus said that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into heaven. And yet they still try to amass riches (I do too, but as a means to an end, not the end in and of itself.) The older I get, the more (outwardly)boring, frugal, and (materialistically)auster I get. Most people think that's weird, but I'm happier than I've ever been. Maybe I should start my own religious movement
     
  4. Oct 19, 2003 #3
    well you just got me thinking about those people who force suffering upon themselves, whether consciously or not. Some people live lives of self destruction and pain. I don't know how they'd fit into your analogy. Also, i guess you could say suffering involves no pleasure, but i can think of instances when it does. Also, if a person can appreciate all that sand and mundanity with out the shells, then where's the point of life? And, what if you just have shells and no sand? i know the last question seems silly, but i think that'd be a closer analogy to my life.
     
  5. Oct 20, 2003 #4
    Contrary to popular belief, satanism isnt about wildly running around, murdering people, raping women, doing drugs and sacrificing babies to the devil. It's merely about material gain versus spiritual gain. Satanism is based in striving for personal excellence. It's about denying the seven deadly sins as deadly, and realizing what they are; a part of human nature. It's about giving in to those desires without bringing about harm to another being.

    Man is just another animal roaming the earth, we just have more complex brain patterns which makes us think we're better than those that walk on all fours. Satanism embraces this realization and says why bother denying what we truly are? Why bother pretending we are better than the animals when we arent very different from them?

    We see cats and dogs giving in to their instincts all the time. They don't harm others just for the sake of harming others, they attack when provoked or when they want food. Humans could learn something from this. Keep to yourself, don't bother worrying about what the others around you are doing, and strive for your own personal excellence.

    Cats are especially known for their great indulgence in sloth. Just kinda, napping whenever they feel it's necessary, but eventually their pride takes over and they wake up to go clean themselves, or go out for a hunt or something. Pride can negate the effects of soem of the deadly sins. Sloth, as in this example can become boring, or annoying at which point pride kicks in an says 'clean up your act'. It's a motivator. A glutton will eat and eat and eat until they realize they can't continue like that and they become ashamed of their appearance and wind up going on a diet or something.

    Satanism is about thinking your actions through, following out the course you feel to be the best and taking control of your life, rather than praying to a god of one form or another to reach in and make it better for you.

    In the sand analogy, i guess you could think of it as starting out with the bed of sand, and the gradually filling it up with shells. When it is full, you decide to make the shells with which you fill the space bigger and better.

    I guess you could sum satanism up with the sentence 'He who dies with the most toys, wins.'

    To the satanist, god does not exist, and the devil does not exist as individual beings. The labels god and satan or the devil or whatever can be considered metaphorical representations of the urges within us all. God represents abstenince while satan represents indulgence. God is the urge to do deeds which provide a spiritual gain, whereas satan is the urge for a personal gain.

    Hrm... I could rant for hours on this. I think I should quit. Those are the basics.
     
  6. Oct 20, 2003 #5
    I have never heard such foolishness! You state that humans are no more than animals, as if fact! You know what: If reality has not convinced you of the truth, I will make no attempt. I too could rant and carry on for pages, but my GOD GIVEN logic tells me that there'll be no use, so I will not waste my time.
     
  7. Oct 20, 2003 #6
    Ah, the Agony and the Ecstasy ... It seems you can't have the one without the other. And indeed everything in the Universe vibrates (oscillates) between two such potentials which, if it didn't, it cease to exist ... as something "vibrant" and alive anyway. :smile:

    Why should we deny either, so long as it doesn't entail going to extremes?
     
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