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Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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1/29/20 2:08 PM
I am wondering how you guys relate to the question of existence being worthwhile vs. existence being unworthwhile. My mind keeps on coming back to thinking there is no meaning to life, but a bunch of pain (and suffering, which I hope one can eliminate), so why bother at all? Even when I feel well and tend my mind toward this question there comes no good answer. I am especially wondering how those with the higher stages of awakening may relate. 

RE: Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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1/29/20 2:30 PM as a reply to Konstantin Freiberg.
(Not an awakened one here!)

But I have spent a long time with those questions and looking for a meaning in life to make it bearable, and often I have come to this conclusion that I should not pay much attention to these questions. Often they are a result of overthinking and are not helpful.

On the other hand, what makes life worth living for me (and I guess it should be the same for many others), is the curiosity and the joy of discovery. Always there are many things to learn and discover that keeps the curiosity active and fulfilled in this mysterious life and world, and if there aren't enough interesting things to be curious about, then probably some changes in life style is needed.

RE: Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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1/29/20 3:13 PM as a reply to Konstantin Freiberg.
A purely intellectual attack will not work. That's like treading water in the middle of the ocean. Meditation and its sister methods are life buoys to get outside the context in which those questions are asked.

RE: Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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2/1/20 4:57 AM as a reply to Konstantin Freiberg.
Yes, there is really no meaning to life. It is just generation after generation of reproduction, working, eating, struggling, etc. For example, the Buddhist scriptures report Gotama lost intoxication with life when he was living in the palaces, here: https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/an/an03/an03.038.than.html

However, when self-view or self-reference ends in the mind, the dilemma ceases; the suffering ceases. The higher stages of awakening means the ending of self-view or self-reference. In fact, the word "bhava" refers to "self-identity". "Bhava" does not mean "life" or "physical existence". "Bhava" means the sense or feeling "I exist". Its all about "ego". 

The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensual pleasure, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming: This, friend Visakha, is the origination of self-identification described by the Blessed One.

https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.044.than.html

RE: Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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2/1/20 10:03 AM as a reply to Konstantin Freiberg.
My mind keeps on coming back to thinking there is no meaning to life...

Your mind will always try to do stuff like that. One question Buddhism asks you to try to find the answer to is, "Why do I believe that having some over-arching meaning to my life is necessary?" Why does having a meaning (which you probably won't pay all that much attention to) make such a huge difference? Or does it? Why can't life be what it is - a series of moments stacked on each other, each with its own import, stemming from the chaotic interplay of the forces around us all?



RE: Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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2/2/20 1:05 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
It does seem to matter if one finds nonexistence preferrable to existence for, as I don't believe in rebirth, there is a possibility to get out of existence. I think that's why my mind won't drop the question: It may not be redundant thought. 

RE: Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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2/2/20 1:09 PM as a reply to Konstantin Freiberg.
I'm urging you to explore that deeply.

RE: Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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2/2/20 1:45 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
My mind keeps on coming back to thinking there is no meaning to life...

Your mind will always try to do stuff like that. One question Buddhism asks you to try to find the answer to is, "Why do I believe that having some over-arching meaning to my life is necessary?" Why does having a meaning (which you probably won't pay all that much attention to) make such a huge difference? Or does it? Why can't life be what it is - a series of moments stacked on each other, each with its own import, stemming from the chaotic interplay of the forces around us all?




After reading this post again, this came to my mind (which was a relief!), that, let's say there is/was a meaning, what is that meaning? "That meaning" itself is empty and meaningless! I guess the assumption behind looking for meaning, is that probably we assume that there is something (a meaning) that is not empty. I guess buddhism screams that this assumption is not true, right?

RE: Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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2/2/20 2:03 PM as a reply to Siavash.
I guess buddhism screams that this assumption is not true, right?

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RE: Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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2/2/20 2:29 PM as a reply to Konstantin Freiberg.
Konstantin Freiberg:
I am wondering how you guys relate to the question of existence being worthwhile vs. existence being unworthwhile. My mind keeps on coming back to thinking there is no meaning to life, but a bunch of pain (and suffering, which I hope one can eliminate), so why bother at all? Even when I feel well and tend my mind toward this question there comes no good answer. I am especially wondering how those with the higher stages of awakening may relate. 

This seems fairly normal. You're trying to reconcile with the first and second of the four noble truths perhaps unknowingly. I would therefore direct the momentum of this curiosity towards those truths but do so consciously, mindfully. It will spread out the momentum and maybe defuse the need to know conceptually. However, sometimes we have to explore these things on an intellectual level and come to understand for ourselves the futility in such a task. In doing this we discover a most perplexing paradox that mind is the source of that very suffering. Maybe you need to do a few more rounds with yourself before the knockout finally comes. There are many rounds but one eventually learns to stand down and stop fighting.

This is suffering
This is the origin of suffering
This is the cessation of suffering
This is the way leading to the cessation of suffering.

RE: Bhavatanha and Vibhavatanha
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2/2/20 7:00 PM as a reply to Konstantin Freiberg.
Konstantin Freiberg:
It does seem to matter if one finds nonexistence preferrable to existence for, as I don't believe in rebirth, there is a possibility to get out of existence. I think that's why my mind won't drop the question: It may not be redundant thought. 

There is no such thing as rebirth/reincarnation. 

Existence means "I exist". Non-existence means "I won't exist". Its all about the "I". 

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