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If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?

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If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Scott 7/7/20 4:38 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Chris Marti 7/7/20 6:54 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Linda ”Polly Ester” Ö 7/7/20 7:18 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Chris Marti 7/7/20 7:19 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Jim Smith 7/7/20 7:56 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? T 7/8/20 8:32 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Tim Farrington 7/8/20 9:22 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? T 7/8/20 11:31 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Ben V. 7/7/20 8:20 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? A. DIetrich Ringle 7/7/20 8:50 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Ni Nurta 7/7/20 10:07 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Jarrett 7/7/20 11:43 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Tim Farrington 7/7/20 11:19 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? T 7/8/20 8:36 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Martin 7/8/20 1:57 PM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Sam Gentile 7/8/20 2:21 PM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Martin 7/8/20 3:00 PM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Sam Gentile 7/8/20 4:04 PM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Not two, not one 7/8/20 3:27 PM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Martin 7/8/20 3:29 PM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Papa Che Dusko 7/8/20 3:49 PM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Sam Gentile 7/8/20 4:05 PM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Milo 7/8/20 6:20 PM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Not two, not one 7/9/20 4:59 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Chris Marti 7/9/20 7:11 AM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Stirling Campbell 7/10/20 2:05 PM
RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point? Tim Farrington 7/12/20 11:59 AM
Daniel talked about in an interview recently how the Buddha would tell little white lies when talking to lay people, like what they were in their previous lives, but in reality, the candle would just go out. Here’s what Daniel said:

“You could tell the Buddha all the time was very selective about what he said, how he said stuff, spoke on a lot of different levels, which could easily be considered deception.  To a lay audience, he would sometimes talk about rebirth when he was teaching about morality in a way that clearly implied continuity of an existent being and would never give a qualifier for that, just talked about rebirth and reincarnation.  They were previously reincarnated as this, they were previously that, but the Buddha knew that in the fact that all that’s not all true, this is just empty causality unfolding, there was never a self, and that there never will be.  It’s like a candle.  You light a candle and you light another candle with it, you blow the candle out, what is transmitted?  Well nothing, except something, except nothing, it’s just causality ringing on.”    https://youtu.be/W3kHi0LLzJs?t=5042

If the candle just goes out, would full awakening give any benefit after one dies?  Given that some people dedicate their entire lives to this, would reaching the goal at the very end be worth spending their entire life to achieve it?  I thought awakened beings would reside in parinibbana once they die and so that would result in peace for after death.  Is that not true?  What Daniel is saying sounds contradictory.

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/7/20 6:54 AM as a reply to Scott.
The point of practice is to awaken in this life. This.... life. THIS LIFE.

emoticon

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/7/20 7:18 AM as a reply to Scott.
What Chris said. It's what makes life bearable, and sometimes more than that. 

If you feel like the practice is a sacrifice, maybe you aren't doing it right, or maybe it's not what you need. For me there is no alternative. 

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/7/20 7:19 AM as a reply to Scott.
... would reaching the goal at the very end be worth spending their entire life to achieve it?

The journey is its own reward  emoticon

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/7/20 7:56 AM as a reply to Scott.
Scott:
Daniel talked about in an interview recently how the Buddha would tell little white lies when talking to lay people, like what they were in their previous lives, but in reality, the candle would just go out. Here’s what Daniel said:

“You could tell the Buddha all the time was very selective about what he said, how he said stuff, spoke on a lot of different levels, which could easily be considered deception.  To a lay audience, he would sometimes talk about rebirth when he was teaching about morality in a way that clearly implied continuity of an existent being and would never give a qualifier for that, just talked about rebirth and reincarnation.  They were previously reincarnated as this, they were previously that, but the Buddha knew that in the fact that all that’s not all true, this is just empty causality unfolding, there was never a self, and that there never will be.  It’s like a candle.  You light a candle and you light another candle with it, you blow the candle out, what is transmitted?  Well nothing, except something, except nothing, it’s just causality ringing on.”    https://youtu.be/W3kHi0LLzJs?t=5042

If the candle just goes out, would full awakening give any benefit after one dies?  Given that some people dedicate their entire lives to this, would reaching the goal at the very end be worth spending their entire life to achieve it?  I thought awakened beings would reside in parinibbana once they die and so that would result in peace for after death.  Is that not true?  What Daniel is saying sounds contradictory.
Some people already mentioned awakening helps you in this life. I don't have anything to add on that subject.

I will say that my belief (based in part on my own experiences) is that personality continues after death so if you become non attached, equinimous, and freed from the fetters of identity view and ill will and conceit etc. in this life you, will have the benefits of those qualities for the rest of eternity.

I don't believe awakening is the end of spiritual development or that it necessarily ends reincarnation.

The idea of merging into the divine is somewhat misunderstood. Individuality and unity both exist. It's difficult for us to understand since we mostly only experience individuality in the physical life, but it is not like losing individuality it is like remembering what you already are.

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/7/20 8:20 AM as a reply to Scott.
In the Kalama Sutta (btw an often misquoted sutta, but that's another issue) the Buddha explains  to the Kalamas, who were skeptical of all teachings, that whether there is rebirth or not, one gets benefits from the teachings.

If there is no afterlife, you will get benefit from the morality practices, the meditative practices, and the awakening events. If you are going to be conscious for say 90 years, might as well make the best of it. And good practice will or can also benefit others and future generations.

This being said, my recent reflections on the matter of afterlife points in the direction that consciousness continues. For the moment, my view is that consciousness cannot emerge from non-consciousness. In other words, inanimate matter cannot produce consciousness (although we can cetrtanly imagine that it can filter it).  Consequently, consciousness must be considered an inherent property of the universe. Just like the eye nerves filter light, the brain filters consciousness. Both light and consciousness here being inherent properties of the universe.

The thing with afterlife though is, in this above theory (I think it's called panpsychism), consciousness does not mean personality, nor does it mean the usual way we experience "self". Given that personality and the sense of self are added constructs to consciousness, "you" will not continue after death even if the stream of consciousness might continue in some form. It's not "your" consciousness. It's not "you".

Also, given that consciousness in this life is conditioned and coloured by volitions (greed, aversion, compassion, etc) it is not a far jump in my opinion to suggest that consciousness after death will be shaped by volitions generated in this life, hence, karma. 

Perhaps when consciousness is no longer shaped by volitions around the self-sense, it flatlines/falls into latent state (Nibbana/cessation?).

All this being said, these are reflections I have to amuse myself, but I don't think the path of practice is dependent on resolving such scientific or philosophical issue.

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/7/20 8:50 AM as a reply to Scott.
Buddhism is like a fan club. Enjoy the social hour, the meat of the matter is delivered outside the metaphor(s).

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/7/20 10:07 AM as a reply to Scott.
My own observations and contemplations about the topic say that experience is not linear, it does not flow from one moment to another moment. It appears here and there and everywhere  there is an experience what is there in term of states of tensor flields values. Living sentient beings evolved to be really good at connecting to these tensor fields and can lend their own unique properties which are mind and intelligence granted by physical structures of our bodies. This mind and its intelligence can then generate knowledge of what can be done and that knowledge can be then passed to eveyrhing else in existence. Not everywhere there is a mind which can conceive Dharma in the same way but everything in existence can conceive Dharma through beings which help them do so. Those beings are called Buddhas.

And that is the true purpose of enlightenment.

When you do help anyone then probability to experience pleasure and clarity instead of suffering and confusion will be this much greater. But it doesn't matter who helps and when it was done because we all are the same thing and time is an illusion. Like a drops in an ocean of everalsting ecstasy of Vajra Samadhi, the experience of everything at all times.

BTW. When you hear many conflicting stories about what Buddha said then instead of being conflicted by them and trying to find out which one is true try to see the big picture.

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/7/20 11:43 AM as a reply to Scott.
what is "individual awakening" anyway?

what is "oneself"?

there are infinite levels to self when we move beyond the individual -- communities and larger bodies, smaller bodies, etc etc . 

our physical body is a collection of smaller bodies. "body" is just an imprecise way of organizing. so is "individual". 

nothing is separate. so how can there be enlightenment for "me" or "you" if the dude next to us isn't enlightened?

the bodhisattva vow really nails this.

i think the broader contextualization that the mahayana provides can be helpful in cases like this where we drift into nihilism and ask 'whats the point?'

i suffer when beings suffer.  samsara is full of suffering. 

if there's no point after death, well, why not work for the benefit of all sentient beings in this life ?

and if you dig that sort of thing, take the bodhisattva vow and work for the benefit of all sentient beings in all future lives.  this life is one big bardo anyway. 

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/7/20 11:19 AM as a reply to Scott.
Scott:
Daniel talked about in an interview recently how the Buddha would tell little white lies when talking to lay people, like what they were in their previous lives, but in reality, the candle would just go out. Here’s what Daniel said:

“You could tell the Buddha all the time was very selective about what he said, how he said stuff, spoke on a lot of different levels, which could easily be considered deception.  To a lay audience, he would sometimes talk about rebirth when he was teaching about morality in a way that clearly implied continuity of an existent being and would never give a qualifier for that, just talked about rebirth and reincarnation.  They were previously reincarnated as this, they were previously that, but the Buddha knew that in the fact that all that’s not all true, this is just empty causality unfolding, there was never a self, and that there never will be.  It’s like a candle.  You light a candle and you light another candle with it, you blow the candle out, what is transmitted?  Well nothing, except something, except nothing, it’s just causality ringing on.”    https://youtu.be/W3kHi0LLzJs?t=5042

If the candle just goes out, would full awakening give any benefit after one dies?  Given that some people dedicate their entire lives to this, would reaching the goal at the very end be worth spending their entire life to achieve it?  I thought awakened beings would reside in parinibbana once they die and so that would result in peace for after death.  Is that not true?  What Daniel is saying sounds contradictory.

Hi Scott,

It's not just little white lies that the Buddha told, in my reading: he set out on the path because he came among a sick man, an aging man, and a dead man, and then a sadhu in orange who told him he was trying to get out of all that shit. And the Buddha practiced, and found his way, and taught for 40 years as a conscious choice against the lure of his candle flame being snuffed, the most literal rendering of "nirvana/nibbana." And during those years he aged, and got sick (the throat cancer that took him is a particularly gnarly way to die, as I can attest after watching a friend go that way a couple of years ago), and then, well, he died. So the whole of Buddhism is a gigantic bold-faced bait-and-switch: the Buddha didn't do shit about the problems he set out to liberate himself from, in any immediately evident sense. And he would do shit about them if he came back another ten thousand times in ever-new forms, each "wiser" and more Realized than the last.

What he did do, I think, was point the way to making our mortal peace with those existential horrors that seem to undermine any possibility of meaning in human life, or work, or love, or even grief. It involves going into our own hearts and minds so deeply that we see through it all, and yet, in that transparency and disappearance of self, see that something is still going on here, something that is not nothing, something that is sweeter than the void, more fleeting than dew, and more precious than mountains of jewels in the moment that it flashes and disappears.

There is a marvelous rendering of a Kabir poem by Robert Bly that seems to the point here:
Friend, hope for the Guest while you are alive.
Jump into experience while you are alive!
Think... and think... while you are alive.
What you call 'salvation' belongs to the time
before death.

If you don't break your ropes while you're alive,
do you think
ghosts will do it after?

The idea that the soul will join with the ecstatic
just because the body is rotten—
that is all fantasy.
What is found now is found then.
If you find nothing now,
you will simply end up with an apartment
in the City of Death.
If you make love with the divine now, in the next life
you will have the face of satisfied desire.

Kabir, as rendered by Robert Bly


love, tim

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 8:32 AM as a reply to Jim Smith.
 It's difficult for us to understand since we mostly only experience individuality in the physical life, but it is not like losing individuality it is like remembering what you already are.

Isn't individuality entirely acquired through conditioning in this life? Both how one was raised, where, what they were exposed to, and in some part genetics. So...if it came into being at birth (and subsequently) it is ever-changing and not us.... why would one believe it continues after the death of the body?

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 8:36 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
What he did do, I think, was point the way to making our mortal peace with those existential horrors that seem to undermine any possibility of meaning in human life, or work, or love, or even grief. It involves going into our own hearts and minds so deeply that we see through it all, and yet, in that transparency and disappearance of self, see that something is still going on here, something that is not nothing, something that is sweeter than the void, more fleeting than dew, and more precious than mountains of jewels in the moment that it flashes and disappears.

Hear! Hear!

T:
 It's difficult for us to understand since we mostly only experience individuality in the physical life, but it is not like losing individuality it is like remembering what you already are.

Isn't individuality entirely acquired through conditioning in this life? Both how one was raised, where, what they were exposed to, and in some part genetics. So...if it came into being at birth (and subsequently) it is ever-changing and not us.... why would one believe it continues after the death of the body?
T, i think the issue here is with what we mean by "individuality." What you say is certanly true in most senses, that it is contingent, historically conditioned, and transient. But I believe--- it seems to me that i ihave experienced--- a distinct "vibe" that is capable of "self"-recognition and the recognition of "reality" as supremely gracious and beautiful and coherent beyond all conception: as loving. And that "thing/no-thing" feels gratitude and joy and love in response. Without that moment, i just don't think there's any beef here. I understand this is a minority position among dry vipassanists and the fellow traveler borderline nihilists of DhO, of DhO.

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 11:31 AM as a reply to Tim Farrington.
Tim Farrington:
T:
 It's difficult for us to understand since we mostly only experience individuality in the physical life, but it is not like losing individuality it is like remembering what you already are.

Isn't individuality entirely acquired through conditioning in this life? Both how one was raised, where, what they were exposed to, and in some part genetics. So...if it came into being at birth (and subsequently) it is ever-changing and not us.... why would one believe it continues after the death of the body?
T, i think the issue here is with what we mean by "individuality." What you say is certanly true in most senses, that it is contingent, historically conditioned, and transient. But I believe--- it seems to me that i ihave experienced--- a distinct "vibe" that is capable of "self"-recognition and the recognition of "reality" as supremely gracious and beautiful and coherent beyond all conception: as loving. And that "thing/no-thing" feels gratitude and joy and love in response. Without that moment, i just don't think there's any beef here. I understand this is a minority position among dry vipassanists and the fellow traveler borderline nihilists of DhO, of DhO.
Aye, sir. I agree to an extent... 

The thing you are referencing (I think) was present before your conditioning and exists throughout and around everything, it will continue long after one is snuffed (physically); and one can tap into it in this life.

I disagree that it will retain anything of this transient existence within it - that gets passed on to your progeny and existence continues in that vein with all one has learned and experienced. Memory and experience are in the brain, the muscles, the physical being; you can't bring it with you when you go. It was passed on physically. The "thing" remains as it always is - unblemished, untainted, without memory or expectation. 

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 1:57 PM as a reply to Scott.
Scott:

If the candle just goes out, would full awakening give any benefit after one dies?  Given that some people dedicate their entire lives to this, would reaching the goal at the very end be worth spending their entire life to achieve it?  

One thing is that you get benefits in this life. People exercise, and study, and save money, even though none of these things are of any benefit after one dies. It's the same deal with awakening. There are religions where you embrace a crappy life now to get a payoff after death, but that is not the deal with Buddhism, or at least not the prgramatic variety discussed here. 

The other thing is that ideas like "death," "life" and "after one dies" may not be the most useful way of looking at it. I'm pretty sure that if you were to make it even half way to full awakening those kinds of questions would not be of any real concern to you anymore. 

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 2:21 PM as a reply to Martin.
Martin:
Scott:

If the candle just goes out, would full awakening give any benefit after one dies?  Given that some people dedicate their entire lives to this, would reaching the goal at the very end be worth spending their entire life to achieve it?  

One thing is that you get benefits in this life. People exercise, and study, and save money, even though none of these things are of any benefit after one dies. It's the same deal with awakening. There are religions where you embrace a crappy life now to get a payoff after death, but that is not the deal with Buddhism, or at least not the prgramatic variety discussed here. 

The other thing is that ideas like "death," "life" and "after one dies" may not be the most useful way of looking at it. I'm pretty sure that if you were to make it even half way to full awakening those kinds of questions would not be of any real concern to you anymore. 
I don't know. I am far from awakened but the Suttas are full of refernces to reincarnation/rebirth? And doesn't it depend on tradition? I just went through a class on the Tibetan Bardo Studies where you prepare explicitly for death and rebirth.

A good reference on this and one we used is"Mind beyond death" by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche who describes this as " \in particualr these teachings describe six distinct sets of experiences: threee that are relaated to this life and three tht are related to experiences of death and our entrance to the next life...The teachings on the six bardos point out the fundamental continuity of mind through all states of existence."

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 3:00 PM as a reply to Sam Gentile.
I do think it depends on tradition and also on interest. Many people seem to be born with an interest in death. Other people, not so much. Teachings that focus on death are probably more popular with those who are interested in it.

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 3:27 PM as a reply to Scott.
Death is a concept for the yet-to-fully-awaken. Buddha was selling the deathless.  emoticon

Ok, the body dies. But it has been doing that constantly anyway. You probably have no cells in common with your childish self.
Ok, awareness ceases. But that awareness was only ever a process, not an enduring constant thing, not the same now as last year.
And your dependently orignated self does partly continue, radiating the ripples of your existence in complex interference patterns.

So a wave crashes to the shore, and is pulled back by the undertow to be part of the heaving sea once more.  

The Christians are quite good on this:  "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus  Christ ... Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." 

Sin is a duality, as is the fear of death. Absorption in Jesus or Rigpa is far better as it gets rid of most of the duality. But not quite all of it. Uncle Sid was selling one more step. 

Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha!  This is the deathless.

Much love and compassion

Malcolm

emoticonemoticonemoticonemoticon

P.S. The deathless doesn't mean you have to be some naked levitating cave dweller living on pranja. There it nothing wrong with having a householder life, just as there is nothing wrong with going to the movies. But you can understand that it is just a particular frame of reference that you have chosen, and are not bound to.

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 3:29 PM as a reply to Not two, not one.
Sam, Malcolm said what I meant. Thanks, Malcolm.

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 3:49 PM as a reply to Scott.
Ooooo yeee ,
everybody's going to die,
everybody, everybody looses the fight,
but we're feeling allright emoticon https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vaMH-ha3Lbc

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 4:04 PM as a reply to Martin.
Martin:
I do think it depends on tradition and also on interest. Many people seem to be born with an interest in death. Other people, not so much. Teachings that focus on death are probably more popular with those who are interested in it.
I repliied to you but I meant to reply to the originators of this thread. So I'm going to re-link it. Thanks.

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 4:05 PM as a reply to Scott.
Scott:
Daniel talked about in an interview recently how the Buddha would tell little white lies when talking to lay people, like what they were in their previous lives, but in reality, the candle would just go out. Here’s what Daniel said:

“You could tell the Buddha all the time was very selective about what he said, how he said stuff, spoke on a lot of different levels, which could easily be considered deception.  To a lay audience, he would sometimes talk about rebirth when he was teaching about morality in a way that clearly implied continuity of an existent being and would never give a qualifier for that, just talked about rebirth and reincarnation.  They were previously reincarnated as this, they were previously that, but the Buddha knew that in the fact that all that’s not all true, this is just empty causality unfolding, there was never a self, and that there never will be.  It’s like a candle.  You light a candle and you light another candle with it, you blow the candle out, what is transmitted?  Well nothing, except something, except nothing, it’s just causality ringing on.”    https://youtu.be/W3kHi0LLzJs?t=5042

If the candle just goes out, would full awakening give any benefit after one dies?  Given that some people dedicate their entire lives to this, would reaching the goal at the very end be worth spending their entire life to achieve it?  I thought awakened beings would reside in parinibbana once they die and so that would result in peace for after death.  Is that not true?  What Daniel is saying sounds contradictory.

I don't know. I am far from awakened but the Suttas are full of refernces to reincarnation/rebirth? And doesn't it depend on tradition? I just went through a class on the Tibetan Bardo Studies where you prepare explicitly for death and rebirth.

A good reference on this and one we used is"Mind beyond death" by Dzogchen Ponlop Rinpoche who describes this as " \in particualr these teachings describe six distinct sets of experiences: threee that are relaated to this life and three tht are related to experiences of death and our entrance to the next life...The teachings on the six bardos point out the fundamental continuity of mind through all states of existence."

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/8/20 6:20 PM as a reply to Scott.
Scott:
Daniel talked about in an interview recently how the Buddha would tell little white lies when talking to lay people, like what they were in their previous lives, but in reality, the candle would just go out. Here’s what Daniel said:

“You could tell the Buddha all the time was very selective about what he said, how he said stuff, spoke on a lot of different levels, which could easily be considered deception.  To a lay audience, he would sometimes talk about rebirth when he was teaching about morality in a way that clearly implied continuity of an existent being and would never give a qualifier for that, just talked about rebirth and reincarnation.  They were previously reincarnated as this, they were previously that, but the Buddha knew that in the fact that all that’s not all true, this is just empty causality unfolding, there was never a self, and that there never will be.  It’s like a candle.  You light a candle and you light another candle with it, you blow the candle out, what is transmitted?  Well nothing, except something, except nothing, it’s just causality ringing on.”    https://youtu.be/W3kHi0LLzJs?t=5042

If the candle just goes out, would full awakening give any benefit after one dies?  Given that some people dedicate their entire lives to this, would reaching the goal at the very end be worth spending their entire life to achieve it?  I thought awakened beings would reside in parinibbana once they die and so that would result in peace for after death.  Is that not true?  What Daniel is saying sounds contradictory.


I'll just suggest here that understanding of these kinds of statements may change quite a bit depending on context of where you are on the path.

There's divergence between provisional steps in the middle parts according to tradition or the person speaking.

A lot of stuff is context dependent on reference frames corresponding to middle parts of the path, and then there's (If all goes well) convergence further along.

Don't get too bound up in 'analysis paralysis' of steps of the different paths between point A and point B. Just focus on getting one foot in front of the other and not wandering off into the woods.

As others have said here, there's plenty of motivation that comes from this life anyway.

Maybe reserve that after death stuff as raw material for later, if you still feel so inclined to investigate such things. You'll likely have more clarity into this as you refine an understanding of emptiness, so that might be its own motivation too.

Keep trying to crack the nut that is emptiness and it some point you'll realize this question just resolved itself.

I know that sounds like a deflection, but just like learning to ride a bike, there's no escaping doing the core part of that work yourself.

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/9/20 4:59 AM as a reply to Milo.
Milo:
Scott:
Daniel talked about in an interview recently how the Buddha would tell little white lies when talking to lay people, like what they were in their previous lives, but in reality, the candle would just go out. Here’s what Daniel said:

“You could tell the Buddha all the time was very selective about what he said, how he said stuff, spoke on a lot of different levels, which could easily be considered deception.  To a lay audience, he would sometimes talk about rebirth when he was teaching about morality in a way that clearly implied continuity of an existent being and would never give a qualifier for that, just talked about rebirth and reincarnation.  They were previously reincarnated as this, they were previously that, but the Buddha knew that in the fact that all that’s not all true, this is just empty causality unfolding, there was never a self, and that there never will be.  It’s like a candle.  You light a candle and you light another candle with it, you blow the candle out, what is transmitted?  Well nothing, except something, except nothing, it’s just causality ringing on.”    https://youtu.be/W3kHi0LLzJs?t=5042

If the candle just goes out, would full awakening give any benefit after one dies?  Given that some people dedicate their entire lives to this, would reaching the goal at the very end be worth spending their entire life to achieve it?  I thought awakened beings would reside in parinibbana once they die and so that would result in peace for after death.  Is that not true?  What Daniel is saying sounds contradictory.


I'll just suggest here that understanding of these kinds of statements may change quite a bit depending on context of where you are on the path.

There's divergence between provisional steps in the middle parts according to tradition or the person speaking.

A lot of stuff is context dependent on reference frames corresponding to middle parts of the path, and then there's (If all goes well) convergence further along.

Don't get too bound up in 'analysis paralysis' of steps of the different paths between point A and point B. Just focus on getting one foot in front of the other and not wandering off into the woods.

As others have said here, there's plenty of motivation that comes from this life anyway.

Maybe reserve that after death stuff as raw material for later, if you still feel so inclined to investigate such things. You'll likely have more clarity into this as you refine an understanding of emptiness, so that might be its own motivation too.

Keep trying to crack the nut that is emptiness and it some point you'll realize this question just resolved itself.

I know that sounds like a deflection, but just like learning to ride a bike, there's no escaping doing the core part of that work yourself.

Now that is good advice.

Malcolm (not three)

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/9/20 7:11 AM as a reply to Not two, not one.
I think we should be more discerning about what "beyond death" means in the various flavors of Buddhism. It might not mean a literal life after death. It might mean that the mind has a clear, beginningless and endless nature. It might mean that moment by moment we die and are reborn, as some would describe the process called dependent origination.

Just sayin'

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/10/20 2:05 PM as a reply to Chris Marti.
Chris Marti:
It might mean that the mind has a clear, beginningless and endless nature. It might mean that moment by moment we die and are reborn, as some would describe the process called dependent origination.

Fantastic! This thread could be so much shorter if the 2nd post was just this. emoticon

Life, death, taxes, suffering, mental illness, Trump, pancakes, Elvis, Jesus, Buddha... these are all constructs of the mind. Buddhism (in ALL of its flavors) is a conceptual framework for working with something that HAS no framework. It's a story you tell yourself about an evolution, or steps, or paths or salvation.This is the reality of it, and it probably sounds ridiculous to most, or perhaps insulting, or frightening.

Ultimately, the question:

If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?

...makes NO sense. Who awakens? Who dies? Who is there to understand or construct a point? What is there to exist with separateness when all things only exist dependent on other things (Dependent Origination).

The Buddha's "little white lies" are a way to work with delusion to slowly erode its solidity. They are conceptual lenses to de-reify the constructed self and world you feel so solidly exists. When you find one that resonates with you, be grateful and take it as far as it can go. 

I personally just love Huang Po for his utter clarity on how things "are":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD2igAzDzh0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcIQD1KUPUk

RE: If awakening gives no benefits after death, what is the point?
Answer
7/12/20 11:59 AM as a reply to Scott.
Scott:
Daniel talked about in an interview recently how the Buddha would tell little white lies when talking to lay people, like what they were in their previous lives, but in reality, the candle would just go out. Here’s what Daniel said:

“You could tell the Buddha all the time was very selective about what he said, how he said stuff, spoke on a lot of different levels, which could easily be considered deception.  To a lay audience, he would sometimes talk about rebirth when he was teaching about morality in a way that clearly implied continuity of an existent being and would never give a qualifier for that, just talked about rebirth and reincarnation.  They were previously reincarnated as this, they were previously that, but the Buddha knew that in the fact that all that’s not all true, this is just empty causality unfolding, there was never a self, and that there never will be.  It’s like a candle.  You light a candle and you light another candle with it, you blow the candle out, what is transmitted?  Well nothing, except something, except nothing, it’s just causality ringing on.”    https://youtu.be/W3kHi0LLzJs?t=5042

If the candle just goes out, would full awakening give any benefit after one dies?  Given that some people dedicate their entire lives to this, would reaching the goal at the very end be worth spending their entire life to achieve it?  I thought awakened beings would reside in parinibbana once they die and so that would result in peace for after death.  Is that not true?  What Daniel is saying sounds contradictory.

Scott, what you make of all this, after several spirals? If nothing else, you got some great stuff aired out here! A fruitful question close to a lot of people hearts and minds, clearly.

Now you can die happy and disappear forver into Utter Oblivion!

love, tim