Author Topic: Questions about Enlightenment  (Read 953 times)

Offline Sky Raker

  • Member
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Questions about Enlightenment
« on: July 23, 2015, 06:13:40 am »
Hello all. I'm not actually a Buddhist but there's something that's been bugging me about the concept of enlightenment; I apologize for my ignorance.

Basically, if according to Buddha the world is suffering, and enlightenment is freedom from suffering, then isn't the pursuit of enlightenment being caused by the unwholesome root of aversion and possibly hatred? 

[I always thought that loving something was to value what that thing is, for what it is. If a person enjoys a thing they may come to love that thing, but if a person doesn't enjoy something or can't accept something for what it is; they usually either try to change it, avoid it, remove it, or if all else fails, they will force themselves to try to live with it. If a person can't accept many things, then they usually end up being very unhappy.]

Does a person achieve enlightenment by finding some way to love everything and thus always finding joy in all their experiences? 

If that's true then how is it that the world can be suffering? Circular logic, i know sorry.  This stuff is kind of hard for me to put into words. Going further,  If such extraordinary lengths are required to find a way to love all experiences, then wouldn't that make it an unnatural state? (decades of meditation and practice)

I don't understand how a person can do that when the reason for trying to do it is because those things are causing them pain?

I'm having a really hard time wrapping my head around this stuff.


« Last Edit: July 23, 2015, 07:00:56 am by Sky Raker »

Offline popsthebuilder

  • Member
  • Posts: 24
    • View Profile
Re: Questions about Enlightenment
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2015, 08:44:30 am »
You can achieve enlightenment and appreciation for all existence without much effort at all. You must be 100% honest in all that you think and do. Patience and pure self are relatively easy to attain. You must first accept that we are all flawed, henceforth most societal systems are flawed.

Faith in selfless Unity through Good


Offline cosmic_dog_magic

  • Member
  • Posts: 90
    • View Profile
Re: Questions about Enlightenment
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2015, 08:31:42 pm »
I can only speculate what enlightenment is like.  Freedom from suffering, the causes of suffering is attachment.  I don't know if our conventional use of love fits, but our inherent nature comes out when we've paired down our ego, our mental habits, our stories, and learned what is natural is to let things come and go in a subtle and fundamental way through training in meditation.  One of those inherent qualities maybe unconditional love and unconditional compassion, it's just there I assume, where typical love is based on conditions, it's based on an object of affection where when it changes it's description causes us suffering because it doesn't satisfy those original conditions. 

I don't think you learn to love everything, you just learn to simply be with everything as is, and virtuous qualities like love and compassion may rise but not out of any effort on your part per se, so it's natural.  Like a fire that's just kindling on it's own and experience is fueling that.

The things that you have aversion too, and hate are products of mind, and mind is malleable, so through meditation your relationship to those things will change and you will come to accept them more and more as your practice deepens.

eh... maybe

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5054
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: Questions about Enlightenment
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2015, 12:39:11 am »
If a person can't accept many things, then they usually end up being very unhappy.]

Indeed.  One way of looking at Buddhist practice is in terms of developing the wisdom to accept things the way they are, rather than continually wanting this or not wanting that.  A well-known formula for enlightenment in Buddhism is freedom from craving, aversion and ignorance.  Craving is wanting, aversion is not wanting.  We often want things to stay the same, but of course they never do.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2015, 12:41:21 am by Spiny Norman »

Offline Sky Raker

  • Member
  • Posts: 2
    • View Profile
Re: Questions about Enlightenment
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2015, 04:33:46 am »

I don't think you learn to love everything, you just learn to simply be with everything as is, and virtuous qualities like love and compassion may rise but not out of any effort on your part per se, so it's natural.  Like a fire that's just kindling on it's own and experience is fueling that.

The things that you have aversion too, and hate are products of mind, and mind is malleable, so through meditation your relationship to those things will change and you will come to accept them more and more as your practice deepens.

eh... maybe
Well, love might be going to far.  The ability to to feel enjoyment from all things maybe? Or at least the ability to not dislike unenjoyable things. 

Thank you for your replies, from what I've gathered (not that i understand it) the process itself is some kind of catalyst that allows a person seeking enlightenment (even if for bad reasons) to obtain it.

Offline Spiny Norman

  • Member
  • Posts: 5054
  • Cool baby yeah!
    • View Profile
Re: Questions about Enlightenment
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2015, 01:18:35 am »
Thank you for your replies, from what I've gathered (not that i understand it) the process itself is some kind of catalyst that allows a person seeking enlightenment (even if for bad reasons) to obtain it.

Enlightenment isn't something one obtains, it's more like creating the right conditions for it to arise. 

One formulation is the 7 factors of enlightenment: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_Factors_of_Enlightenment.

Another formulation is the 6 perfections: https://thesevenminds.wordpress.com/2012/11/30/the-six-paramitas-perfections/

Offline mysticmorn

  • Member
  • Posts: 98
    • View Profile
Re: Questions about Enlightenment
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2015, 02:21:45 pm »
OP, the world is suffering because humans' confused and clouded minds make it that way.  The world is suffering because people have a tendency to crave things they can't have, or become dependent on things they do have, and then when those things are gone, they suffer for the lack of them.

People can also feel inadequate and have amyriad psychological or emotional hangups that are of their own making.  Another source of suffering is trauma: childhood trauma, birth trauma, even in-the-womb trauma.  These are what's often referred to in the non-Buddhist world as "the human condition", i.e. suffering/stress/frustration.

Buddhism shows a way out of most garden-variety stress or suffering. One learns to view the world as it is, instead of through one's distorted lenses and imaginings.  One gradually becomes happy with oneself and others, and takes life as it is, rather than projecting things onto people and situations.  Enlightenment isn't necessarily a big, flashing neon bliss event. It can be quiet contentment, remaining unruffled by events in the world or one's environment.

I hope this helps clarify some of it.

 


SimplePortal 2.3.3 © 2008-2010, SimplePortal