Author Topic: Wanting and self  (Read 711 times)

Offline francis

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #15 on: April 26, 2017, 06:28:57 am »
This is very important because as human beings we have only three feelings (vedana)[/url].  They are pleasant feelings, unpleasant feelings, or neutral feelings that are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

Francis,
This is not logical or reasonable. It's like describing temperatures in three categories of cold, warm, and hot.
Degrees of pleasantness, joy or sufering are like degrees on a thermometer. They vary by gradual amounts.

Hi Vincent,

Ok, then there are variations based on the internal and external sense organs, for example see attributes.

But, the bottom line is there are really only three basic feelings.

1. Pleasant
2. Unpleasant
3. Neither pleasant nor unpleasant (neutral)

Think about it, it does make sense. We thirst for pleasant feelings, avoid unpleasant feelings and sometime we can’t make up our mind.



"Enlightenment, for a wave in the ocean, is the moment the wave realises it is water." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #16 on: April 26, 2017, 07:20:53 am »
This is very important because as human beings we have only three feelings (vedana)[/url].  They are pleasant feelings, unpleasant feelings, or neutral feelings that are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

Francis,
This is not logical or reasonable. It's like describing temperatures in three categories of cold, warm, and hot.
Degrees of pleasantness, joy or sufering are like degrees on a thermometer. They vary by gradual amounts.

Hi Vincent,

Ok, then there are variations based on the internal and external sense organs, for example see attributes.

But, the bottom line is there are really only three basic feelings.

1. Pleasant
2. Unpleasant
3. Neither pleasant nor unpleasant (neutral)

Think about it, it does make sense. We thirst for pleasant feelings, avoid unpleasant feelings and sometime we can’t make up our mind.

C'mon now Francis, I can list many variations of feelings.
(1) Very euphoric, like a sexual orgasm.
(2) Very uplifting and ego-boosting, like the acquisition of a Mercedes Benz or Rolls Royce.
(3) Very comforting like the purchase of a new house.
(4) Very pleasing like the purchase of the latest DSLR camera.
(5) Very seductive and pleasurable like a temporary relationship with a female who is not one's wife.
(6) Very gratifying because one has successfully got a promotion in one's work place.

The list can go on and on, and then downwards with increasingly less satisfaction till we get to degrees of depression and despondence and dissatisfaction.

Each of these feelings could be categorized on a scale of 1 to a hundred, or at least 1 to 20, depending one one's sensitivity.

Online IdleChater

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #17 on: April 26, 2017, 07:45:45 am »
This is very important because as human beings we have only three feelings (vedana)[/url].  They are pleasant feelings, unpleasant feelings, or neutral feelings that are neither pleasant nor unpleasant.

Francis,
This is not logical or reasonable. It's like describing temperatures in three categories of cold, warm, and hot.
Degrees of pleasantness, joy or sufering are like degrees on a thermometer. They vary by gradual amounts.

Hi Vincent,

Ok, then there are variations based on the internal and external sense organs, for example see attributes.

But, the bottom line is there are really only three basic feelings.

1. Pleasant
2. Unpleasant
3. Neither pleasant nor unpleasant (neutral)

Think about it, it does make sense. We thirst for pleasant feelings, avoid unpleasant feelings and sometime we can’t make up our mind.

C'mon now Francis, I can list many variations of feelings.
(1) Very euphoric, like a sexual orgasm.
(2) Very uplifting and ego-boosting, like the acquisition of a Mercedes Benz or Rolls Royce.
(3) Very comforting like the purchase of a new house.
(4) Very pleasing like the purchase of the latest DSLR camera.
(5) Very seductive and pleasurable like a temporary relationship with a female who is not one's wife.
(6) Very gratifying because one has successfully got a promotion in one's work place.

The list can go on and on, and then downwards with increasingly less satisfaction till we get to degrees of depression and despondence and dissatisfaction.

Each of these feelings could be categorized on a scale of 1 to a hundred, or at least 1 to 20, depending one one's sensitivity.

True, but you could still categorize all of those as either pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant or unpleasant.

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2017, 08:11:01 am »
True, but you could still categorize all of those as either pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant or unpleasant.

Sure you could, just as you could categorize all temperatures as cold, warm and hot. But how enlightening is that?

There's a huge difference between a hot day, boiling water, and the temperature of the sun's surface, just as there's a huge difference between a cool day, a freezing day and subzero temperatures at the arctic.

What sort of thermometer would give  you just 3 readings? How useful would that be?

Online IdleChater

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2017, 08:20:27 am »
True, but you could still categorize all of those as either pleasant, unpleasant or neither pleasant or unpleasant.

Sure you could, just as you could categorize all temperatures as cold, warm and hot. But how enlightening is that?

There's a huge difference between a hot day, boiling water, and the temperature of the sun's surface, just as there's a huge difference between a cool day, a freezing day and subzero temperatures at the arctic.

What sort of thermometer would give  you just 3 readings? How useful would that be?

You could further simplify by saying they are just feelings and nothing more than that.  You could go on from there to say that all feelings are dependantly arisen and therefore have no inherent existence and are illusory.  As such they aren't worth the intellectual gymnastics.  Acknowledge them and let them go.

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2017, 09:12:14 am »
You could further simplify by saying they are just feelings and nothing more than that.  You could go on from there to say that all feelings are dependantly arisen and therefore have no inherent existence and are illusory.  As such they aren't worth the intellectual gymnastics.  Acknowledge them and let them go.

Sure you could. That's the big question. How do we survive with no feelings? How do we survive with no possessions or income support? Is Buddhism nihilistic?

Online IdleChater

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2017, 09:54:29 am »
You could further simplify by saying they are just feelings and nothing more than that.  You could go on from there to say that all feelings are dependantly arisen and therefore have no inherent existence and are illusory.  As such they aren't worth the intellectual gymnastics.  Acknowledge them and let them go.

Sure you could. That's the big question. How do we survive with no feelings? How do we survive with no possessions or income support? Is Buddhism nihilistic?

Of course Buddhism isn't Nihilistic.  Also feelings have nothing to do with material possessions in themselves.  Noone's saying there are no feelings.  Feelings have no inherent existence.  They do not exist in and of themselves.  They arise from various causes and conditions.  They are not independant of cause. 

For example... you can hit your thumb with a hammer.  It hurts.  A lot.  That's pretty real.  However the pain wasn't there before you hit your thumb and given the right amount of time and dscipline, the pain goes away, like it was never there. The pain did not arise by itself.  There was no inherent pain.  If there was, you would be in pain all the time, from birth to death.

How do we survive without that.  Well, an enlightened being can exist without all that.

Reach enlightenment and tell us what it's like. It would be bliss.

Offline sharon_kaur

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #22 on: April 29, 2017, 11:32:07 pm »
I keep thinking about wanting a relationship. However I prefer to be celibate. Not sure I want kids. It's difficult finding someone who understands me and is asexual. I want to start meditation but want to have control over my mind before I start. I still have bad habits that haven't gone away.

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Online IdleChater

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #23 on: April 30, 2017, 07:51:16 am »
I keep thinking about wanting a relationship. However I prefer to be celibate. Not sure I want kids. It's difficult finding someone who understands me and is asexual. I want to start meditation but want to have control over my mind before I start. I still have bad habits that haven't gone away.

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Then do all those things.  There's nothing "wrong" with want.

Start meditation.  It's  not about "controling" your mind.  Meditation will allow your mind to settle and rest.

Offline VincentRJ

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #24 on: May 02, 2017, 06:38:43 am »
You could further simplify by saying they are just feelings and nothing more than that.  You could go on from there to say that all feelings are dependantly arisen and therefore have no inherent existence and are illusory.  As such they aren't worth the intellectual gymnastics.  Acknowledge them and let them go.

Sure you could. That's the big question. How do we survive with no feelings? How do we survive with no possessions or income support? Is Buddhism nihilistic?

Of course Buddhism isn't Nihilistic.  Also feelings have nothing to do with material possessions in themselves.  Noone's saying there are no feelings.  Feelings have no inherent existence.  They do not exist in and of themselves.  They arise from various causes and conditions.  They are not independant of cause. 

For example... you can hit your thumb with a hammer.  It hurts.  A lot.  That's pretty real.  However the pain wasn't there before you hit your thumb and given the right amount of time and dscipline, the pain goes away, like it was never there. The pain did not arise by itself.  There was no inherent pain.  If there was, you would be in pain all the time, from birth to death.

How do we survive without that.  Well, an enlightened being can exist without all that.

Reach enlightenment and tell us what it's like. It would be bliss.

I thought one of the major principles of Buddhism is that everything is connected, yet you say that feelings have nothing to do with material possessions. Surely material possessions arise from feelings of desire and want.
Surely in order to exist we need feelings. When we feel hungry, we eat. Are you claiming that an enlightened person doesn't eat because he feels hungry, but simply eats because he understands it's necessary in order to stay alive?

Of course, it's obvious that feelings of pain and suffering and joy do not arise by themselves without a cause, just as I, as I write this, do not exist without a cause, and my computer, desk and chair did not arise without a cause.
However, it seems a bit extreme to claim that all these things 'therefore have no inherent existence and are illusory.  As such they aren't worth the intellectual gymnastics.  Acknowledge them and let them go.'

I could probably do that if I were to live naked in a cave like an early species of hominid and eat berries and fruit from the bushes outside the cave. It would have to be a warm climate though. I'd need the possession of warm clothing if it were a cave in the Himalayas.  :)

Offline Rahul

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #25 on: June 12, 2017, 04:33:49 am »
How could we want something if there is no self?
Do you imply here that self = you? I presume you find a contradiction here because you think it is the 'self' that 'wants'. And if no self, there is no want? Is that what you mean?

Offline Ron-the-Elder

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #26 on: June 12, 2017, 06:21:14 am »
Hi, bahman.

Before discussing wants, let's consider basic biological "needs".

Here is a list of things off the top of my head we as living beings, having evolved the way we have over billions of years, need in order to live, find nutrition in order to live, find mates in order to reproduce our kind, and which motivate and allows us to defend and preserve what we need in order to live.

Here is my basic list.  I am sure there are more, which I have missed.  Perhaps you or someone else on the board will think of them and add them to the conversation:

1.  To live, but only after we are alive.
2.  Consume nutrients in order to live
3.   Protect and preserve  our state of living.
4.  Reproduce in order for our progeny and our species to continue to live after we die.
5.  Provide nutrients, protect, and preserve our progeny so that they too can live and reproduce their progeny, thereby continuing our species.

You and I and many others on this board know that once we attain life, and without satisfying these basic needs we will die.

So, consider that without these basic needs to begin with we will never even live.  We will never attain life.    And, if we never attain life, we can never die.

Next, consider what we need in order to be alive:

What cosmological physicists have learned is that there are certain basic elements and environmental conditions, which facillitate and support the arising of life:

1.  Water
2.  Temperatures, pressures & densities which will allow the bio-chemistry of life to condense and react in a manner which promotes, allows and supports life.
3.  Energy source, which allows the elements to form, achieve what chemists call the activation energy complex and be able to react to form life forming molecules, or what biochemists chall "bio-chemicals", then more complex biochemicals, then proteins, then organs, then living creatures.
4.  Time sufficient for all of this to occur and result in living creatures.

***Note:  I am trying to keep this really simple and am skippin alot.

So, assuming all of this comes together and we achieve life, ask yourself what we need in order to be aware that we exist in the first place.

Could it be some biological organ which  will allow awareness of exterior events and existences?
Could it be some biological organ, which allows awareness of intertior events and various states of existence?
Could it be some organ, which allows us to feel needs?
Could it be some organ, which can allow us to rememeber our mistakes, which perhaps almost cost us our very lives?

So, now we have a being that is aware of what is going on out-there, and in-here, know our needs, and remember our potentially lethal mistakes.

And a bigger creature comes along and eats us (Gulp!), simply because it just wants to.  The bigger creature lives on the nutrients of the smaller and continues to live, and the smaller creature is dismembered, dies, having been chewed-up and dissolved by the digestive chemicals in the gut of the larger creature.

Is there a "self" in any of these simple life forms if they don't even have the  organ giving them the ability to ask the questions:  "Where is my self?"  "What is my self?"  :hmmm:

What is different about us as adult humans that allows us to even conceive of these questions about self? :fu:

« Last Edit: June 13, 2017, 05:36:49 am by Ron-the-Elder »
What Makes an Elder? :
A head of gray hairs doesn't mean one's an elder. Advanced in years, one's called an old fool.
But one in whom there is truth, restraint, rectitude, gentleness,self-control, he's called an elder, his impurities disgorged, enlightened.
-Dhammpada, 19, translated by Thanissaro Bhikkhu.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #27 on: June 13, 2017, 01:46:51 am »
If we look at the 12 links of the Nidana chain, the link between vedana (feelings) and tanha (thirst or craving) is especially important because it is one of the links that can be broken and lead us away from cyclic existence.

I don't see this idea of breaking links between nidanas in the suttas.   The suttas talk about progressive cessation, and it all depends on overcoming ignorance, the first nidana and also the root cause of suffering.

Offline Spiny Norman

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Re: Wanting and self
« Reply #28 on: June 13, 2017, 02:02:19 am »
Sure you could, just as you could categorize all temperatures as cold, warm and hot. But how enlightening is that?

There's a huge difference between a hot day, boiling water, and the temperature of the sun's surface, just as there's a huge difference between a cool day, a freezing day and subzero temperatures at the arctic.

What sort of thermometer would give  you just 3 readings? How useful would that be?

I see what you mean, it's a question of degree ( pun intended ).   The 3-fold model of vedana is a little crude.  The aggregates as a whole are rather crude IMO, it's an attempt to classify and model the way we experience stuff.

 


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