The Four Noble Truths

Discussion in 'Eastern Philosophy' started by Bowser, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. EmptyForceOfChi Banned Banned

    That was my whole point, Genius. way to not be able to read into things in deeper context.
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  3. drumbeat Registered Senior Member

    17? Where is this number from?
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  5. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    If you found enlightenment without eating an icecream cone, would that mean icecream cones did not exist?

    Have no desire for icecream, and you will not need it.

    Have no desire for god, and you will not need it.
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  7. BeHereNow Registered Senior Member

    More hogwash.

    If one has something, one does not have to desire it.
    I have it, why would I merely want it?
    Take it from me, and I may desire it.
    Let me give it to you, so you do not desire it.

    Letting go of attachment has to do with ownership, not desire.

    'Inner peace from god', such rubbish I have not heard since I was a child.
  8. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Gassho, and agreed.

    This makes no sense at all, Empty. You are deliberately missing the point, it seems. :shrug:

    Allow me a restatement of the 4 Noble Truths here:

    1) In each life there is both pleasure and pain.

    2) Our choice of attachments causes much of our pain.

    3) You can learn how to make wise choices in attachment.

    4) The practice of Buddhism can help you to do that.

    "Enlightenment" is not like being crowned King and Queen of Cheese, it is an insight into meaning and perspective - an understanding.

    Once, when I was a younger Buddha, there was a moment when I saw myself from above, as it were, standing outside in the yard with the sun shining down on me from high above in the sky.

    My view receded into outer space, I disappeared from view, becoming a mere speck in the distance on a huge globe that is our world. Then my view receded further, the planet became a bright speck and the sun a huge light, then it too receded and became just another star in space, part of our galaxy. Then the Milky Way receded as well, became just a speck of light in the firmament in a huge sheet of similar bright specks, then they all turned into a shining veil hanging in the black. Then I saw the entire universe as from outside it, a dark semi - sphere hanging in white nothingness, expanding slowly like a black balloon. There were many such black balloons hanging there in nothingness together, expanding and shrinking, bumping into each other and interacting with one another in many ways.

    Then I was back in the yard standing in the sun. The whole experience had taken but a moment, and I came away from it with a new perspective on who and what I was, and how very small and insignificant I was in comparison to the universe. We call that a "satori" moment, or "enlightenment". I understood something intrinsically that I had not the moment before, I gained a new perspective at that moment that I carried with me afterward and remember to this day some 30 years later.

    If you have read this and now understand "enlightenment" better, than you also have become "enlightened". It is not a huge magic or something, it is a step towards a better, happier life.
  9. SciWriter Valued Senior Member

    The One Truth:


    A spirit led me onward, who knows how, toward the Library of Babel, which contains all the possible books that could ever be written, including, for example, better and worse Shakespeare plays, brand new plays, books with only one word of difference among them, everyone’s life story (even the parts not lived yet), the secrets of the universe, the true theory of everything, a lot of gibberish, and so on, as we can’t imagine.

    [In fact, I found this story of mine in there, so I just copied it to here. (yes, it said that too.)]

    A clear night sky of infinite possibility showered us with photons, lighting our way to the fountain of all knowledge.

    “True enlightenment awaits me there,” I offered to the guiding spirit.

    “Don’t be so sure, although you might chance upon it, for the deep truths of enlightenment are as needles surrounded and consumed by the near infinities of the stacks of deception and confusion, for, remember, EVERYTHING exists in this library.”

    “It must be a massive building,” I remarked.

    “Well, yes, but it’s bigger on the inside than on the outside; otherwise, it would have been larger than the universe.”

    “Bigger on the inside? How?”

    “Well, you’ll see, but I’m not sure how—maybe through some dimensional extensions—or perhaps it’s constructed digitally and expands as you move about, somehow, to conserve space; but, even with compression, it’s still hundreds of miles wide in every direction—on the inside.”

    “What is everything, in principle?”

    “Every arrangement possible, given whatever constraints there are, if any. Of course, not all paths may be stable, sensible, or last very long.”

    “That’s a lot—why do we live on this particular path that our universe has taken?”

    “Who the heck knows!”

    “What about making the forms of substance(s) of a universe?”

    “Well, in the case of the emission of the secondary substance(s), let’s say, it’s every one of the ‘alphabets’ that can be conceived by the causeless, plus, all of its resultant workable combinations and interactions of substance. For this Babel library, it is every possible arrangement of words in every language, with punctuation, too, naturally.”

    “Hey, here it is. I can’t wait!”

    Upon entering, they saw stacks of books in every direction, even up and down, stretching toward infinity.

    “Where’s the card catalog?”
    “There can’t be any, for many titles and descriptions of similar books are too long to differentiate. Think of the books themselves as the card catalog.”

    “How’s the library organized?”

    “It can’t be. It would take forever.”

    “Who runs it?”

    “Borges is the lone librarian, but he’s somewhere in the back and hasn’t been seen for decades.”

    “OK, I’ll pick some at random.” (Hours pass)


    “No, mostly mumbo-jumbo, but I found one on a table that someone must have treasured.”

    “Oh, yes, he spent his entire lifetime here. It’s Plato’s ‘Beyond Metaphysics’.”

    “Wow! that’s been lost for thousands of years. But is it the true version?”

    “Who knows.”

    “This library contains no information whatsoever!”

    “True, but there’s another library next door that also claims to have everything.”

    “You mean that little ‘hut’ no, wait—I get it—the library next door is empty.”

    “Yes, for the all sums to the none.”

    “Wait‚ I found two more good ones in the stack right near the entrance…”

    “One is by you and one is by your friend. You put those there in the first stack so someone would find them easily and read them, even though they exist again somewhere else in the library.”

    “Yes, and I’m even going to let them stick out a little on the shelf.”

    In another chilling Borges’s story, I read the actual book that he refers to, the one whose infinite pages are ever-changing, for that’s how books appear to me in my night dreams. Sometimes there are even digits occurring in the middle of words, plus, if I look away and then back, then the contents of the page have changed. One time, when the page stabilized to quite understandable words, I realized I was reading something very profound. In fact, it was the ultimate answer. I dared not look away nor try to copy it with a dream pencil, but, instead, tore out the page and crumbled it into my hand, then forced myself awake (it was a lucid dream). When I awoke, I had the page in my hand, and it said: This page intentionally left blank, except for the above, and the above, etc.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2011
  10. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Something that even the Buddha messed up 2650 years ago - Zen is supposed to be simple and easy for most folks to live by. It works well if you can do that with it.

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  11. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    @ Stoni-I'm making a copy of that and sticking it on my fridge, that is excellent.

    I dunno if any of you have heard about DBT, but one of the components of it is not learning to attach to your emotions and thoughts. You accept that you're having them without pushing them away or clinging, and this reduces how painful the thoughts and feelings are, or at least renders you able to tolerate the pain without doing dysfunctional things about it (cutting, binging, purging, starving, drinking, drugging, sex addiction, etc...all the fun stuff borderline people and other people do to cope with their overwhelming emotions.)

    That component of DBT is directly based on Buddhism.
  12. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Thank you ma'am, glad to be of service.

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    Yes, when we meditate and a thought arises, we are taught to let such just float on by like bubbles in water, not following them or responding to them in any way, just observing their passage.
  13. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    A curiosity, for sure. I have had the same mental vision myself, and I do believe it gives you a good perspective of our relation to the larger reality. However, there seems to be more attached to the enlightenment experience than simply visualizing your place in the universe. As you demonstrated above, we don't even qualify as specs of dust in the larger scheme of things, yet our consciousness is supposedly limitless. Certainly our minds are expansive in that we can grasp the larger picture; however, enlightenment is said to be beyond words or concepts, which makes me wonder about its true nature. Nonetheless, thank you for sharing, Stinphi.
  14. birch Valued Senior Member

    because words don't capture the complexity, sublety of what we pick up, experience or the textures of emotions we feel that well or shades of it. words are mostly monotone or objective for the most part. it's like the difference between actually tasting something to describing it. the former is going to be much more accurate than the description, no matter how well it's conveyed.

    for instance, we can experience love but that feeling will differ with each person and toward each person. the one who is really going to understand it is you and perhaps the other person who knows you well etc. to everyone else, it will be rather a generalized understanding etc.
  15. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Yes, this is one of those life experiences where words fail to convey the experience, like the photograph of a loved one.

    I spent many years in awe of "true enlightenment" never expecting to possess that myself, being a person of very little significance. Then one day I realized that us little people should have something like that in our lives, even if we were not born to royalty or spend years staring at our navels. I guess that was my first enlightenment.

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  16. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

  17. Stoniphi obscurely fossiliferous Valued Senior Member

    Sorry bro, the link didn't work for me.

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  18. Bowser Namaste Valued Senior Member

    Huh... I wonder what happened. Curious.

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