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All Is An Illusion, Same, Not Real?


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Seems every Buddhist sect and school agrees in the concept, Reality is an Illusion, though differieng on many other teachings and interprestaions.

so, It's an illusion, and, it's not real, same/same - seems like simple English, think?

not so simple

- A young friend suffers from manic depression, lovely young lady, community activities, schooling, helps friends, then, suddenly, can't leave her room for days on end.

She told me she feels like she is not really alive, that nothing is 'real'.

May I tell her she is an advanced Buddhist? not think so

Please, only Reply if you can explain, are we 'real'?

Is loving and laughter real, & suffering an illusion? Is that it?

Buddha an illusion, (or) is He 'real'?

are petty rules worth a pinch of real Buddhism,,? duh

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Our lives are very real YR.

I think what is meant by illusion is our perception of our lives

As we're conditioned, we see our lives and the world around us through colored eyes.

I'm sorry to hear of your friends depression.

She told me she feels like she is not really alive, that nothing is 'real'.

This is often the result or side effect of the powerful drugs depressants maybe prescribed.

I view sufferers of mental illness in a similar way to those with a physical illness.

If the cause of your friends condition is due to a physical deficiency of the body or brain, then she may not have all the tools with which to correctly interpret her self experience.

Edited by rockyysdt
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Seems every Buddhist sect and school agrees in the concept, Reality is an Illusion

The Mahayana school likes to talk about the world being an illusion, but I doubt you'll find anything in the Pali Canon that says "reality is an illusion." What Buddhists agree on is that the way we perceive the world is distorted by our own mind, so that what we perceive is not reality. You could say, "what we assume to be reality is an illusion."

From the Buddhist perspective, in a normal, healthy person, reality is distorted. In someone who is depressed or has other mental ailments, it's more distorted than usual. A good example of this is people who are anorexic and see themselves as fat when they are not.

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:rolleyes:

I don;t know of any sect, teaching, or doctrine that teaches that the real world does not exist in any of the Buddhist teachings I have read. Of course, I'm not an expert on all Buddhist teachings by any means.

I have heard some teachings MISUNDERSTOOD by people to mean that "nothing exists in reality".

One of them is "Dependent Origination", which I interpret as meaning (my understanding of the term) that no thing has a "inherent self-existance apart from all other things" (which I personally prefer to refer to as CO-DEPENDENT ORIGINATION). Some people hearing this term, and not understanding completely precisely what is meant by that term, often mistakenly interpret it as "no thing has any existance" (which is quite a different thing from "having no inherent self-existance apart from other things" isn't it?)

I don't know of any Mahayana tradition hat says "the world is an illusion". I think that as Camerata said, "What Buddhists agree on is that the way we perceive the world is distorted by our own mind, so that what we perceive is not reality. You could say, "what we assume to be reality is an illusion." is more in accord with most teachings.

You have to understand also, that some of these teachings may be designed to shock students out of their preconcieved predjudices and by that way force them to think "outside of the box" about the nature of reality and their relationhip to it. Usually they are intended for advanced students...or at least those with some previous teaching. The point is to force them to reconsder their established beliefs...and thus make them think again about what they thought they knew.

Anyhow, I don't see it as a "Buddhist" concept that "reality does not exist" at all.

:whistling:

Edited by IMA_FARANG
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Seems every Buddhist sect and school agrees in the concept, Reality is an Illusion

In fact that's what Brahmanism (which later became Hindusim) taught and still teaches, that the world is an illusion above which the atman (eternal soul) should transcend.

The teachings of Buddha as handed down in the earliest written texts rebelled against the notion. The Buddha taught the doctrine of anatta - no eternal soul - and that there is nothing to transcend, only to understand.

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:rolleyes:

I don;t know of any sect, teaching, or doctrine that teaches that the real world does not exist in any of the Buddhist teachings I have read. Of course, I'm not an expert on all Buddhist teachings by any means.

I have heard some teachings MISUNDERSTOOD by people to mean that "nothing exists in reality".

One of them is "Dependent Origination", which I interpret as meaning (my understanding of the term) that no thing has a "inherent self-existance apart from all other things" (which I personally prefer to refer to as CO-DEPENDENT ORIGINATION). Some people hearing this term, and not understanding completely precisely what is meant by that term, often mistakenly interpret it as "no thing has any existance" (which is quite a different thing from "having no inherent self-existance apart from other things" isn't it?)

I don't know of any Mahayana tradition hat says "the world is an illusion". I think that as Camerata said, "What Buddhists agree on is that the way we perceive the world is distorted by our own mind, so that what we perceive is not reality. You could say, "what we assume to be reality is an illusion." is more in accord with most teachings.

You have to understand also, that some of these teachings may be designed to shock students out of their preconcieved predjudices and by that way force them to think "outside of the box" about the nature of reality and their relationhip to it. Usually they are intended for advanced students...or at least those with some previous teaching. The point is to force them to reconsder their established beliefs...and thus make them think again about what they thought they knew.

Anyhow, I don't see it as a "Buddhist" concept that "reality does not exist" at all.

:whistling:

As others have said, it's an error to interpret Buddhist teaching from whatever school as a denial of the reality of extra-conscious phenomena. The Yogacara, or "mind-only" school does not proclaim idealism, but simply the illusory nature of one's perceptions as a result of karma impacting on one's store consciousness.

However, non-dualist teaching in Buddhism may question the separateness of the subjective mind from objective phenomena, to the extent that we construct reality, which we perceive as being outside ourselves, on the basis of our conceptual thought. This is not an exclusively Buddhist concern, however. The mind-body conundrum was of central concern to people like Descartes and Gassendi, and then Kant and Schopenhauer, to the extent that the two latter argued that the thing-in-itself could not be known directly but only inferred on the basis of representation, i.e. how it appears to us through the senses and the mind. However, they did not deny that the thing-in-itself actually exists, but that it cannot be objectively grasped. Schopenhauer, however, argued that where the thing-in-itself is one's own body, we can know it directly. Non-dualist Buddhists would not disagree, but would see the body as a continuum with other phenomena (as Imafrang suggested) and with the mind itself, in which case the concept of a world of phenomena separate from one's mind-body construct becomes self-contradictory.

In Buddhist psychology, as I understand it, physical contact and sensation awaken perception and give rise to mental events and the consciousness arising from them. Consciousness is the link between the body and thought and the agent of awareness of phenomena. Through consciousness these phenomena return to the mind of the subject in illusory or distorted forms. As Camerata said, we are all deluded to a degree - that is one of the three poisons - but those of use who are more significantly deluded find it difficult to function in society.

Reality is real. To deny that would be logically contradictory. However, there is much to talk about in determining the nature and extent of reality.

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Sho

:rolleyes:

I don;t know of any sect, teaching, or doctrine that teaches that the real world does not exist in any of the Buddhist teachings I have read. Of course, I'm not an expert on all Buddhist teachings by any means.

I have heard some teachings MISUNDERSTOOD by people to mean that "nothing exists in reality".

One of them is "Dependent Origination", which I interpret as meaning (my understanding of the term) that no thing has a "inherent self-existance apart from all other things" (which I personally prefer to refer to as CO-DEPENDENT ORIGINATION). Some people hearing this term, and not understanding completely precisely what is meant by that term, often mistakenly interpret it as "no thing has any existance" (which is quite a different thing from "having no inherent self-existance apart from other things" isn't it?)

I don't know of any Mahayana tradition hat says "the world is an illusion". I think that as Camerata said, "What Buddhists agree on is that the way we perceive the world is distorted by our own mind, so that what we perceive is not reality. You could say, "what we assume to be reality is an illusion." is more in accord with most teachings.

You have to understand also, that some of these teachings may be designed to shock students out of their preconcieved predjudices and by that way force them to think "outside of the box" about the nature of reality and their relationhip to it. Usually they are intended for advanced students...or at least those with some previous teaching. The point is to force them to reconsder their established beliefs...and thus make them think again about what they thought they knew.

Anyhow, I don't see it as a "Buddhist" concept that "reality does not exist" at all.

:whistling:

As others have said, it's an error to interpret Buddhist teaching from whatever school as a denial of the reality of extra-conscious phenomena. The Yogacara, or "mind-only" school does not proclaim idealism, but simply the illusory nature of one's perceptions as a result of karma impacting on one's store consciousness.

However, non-dualist teaching in Buddhism may question the separateness of the subjective mind from objecwaz/.tive phenomena, to the extent that we construct reality, which we perceive as being outside ourselves, on the basis of our conceptual thought. This is not an exclusively Buddhist concern, however. The mind-body conundrum was of central concern to people like Descartes and Gassendi, and then Kant and Schopenhauer, to the extent that the two latter argued that the thing-in-itself could not be known directly but only inferred on the basis of representation, i.e. how it appears to us through the senses and the mind. However, they did not deny that the thing-in-itself actually exists, but that it cannot be objectively grasped. Schopenhauer, however, argued that where the thing-in-itself is one's own body, we can know it directly. Non-dualist Buddhists would not disagree, but would see the body as a continuum with other phenomena (as Imafrang suggested) and with the mind itself, in which case the concept of a world of phenomena separate from one's mind-body construct becomes self-contradictory.

In Buddhist psychology, as I understand it, physical contact and sensation awaken perception and give rise to mental events and the consciousness arising from them. Consciousness is the link between the body and thought and the agent of awareness of phenomena. Through consciousness these phenomena return to the mind of the subject in illusory or distorted forms. As Camerata said, we are all deluded to a degree - that is one of the three poisons - but those of use who are more significantly deluded find it difficult to function in society.

Reality is real. To deny that would be logically contradictory. However, there is much to talk about in determining the nature and extent of reality.

O.K. To go the pragmatic way. What is the reality of a smoker coming after a 12 hours non-smoker flight to Bangkok airport? Next way to the smoker jail.

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very educational and caring Posts, thanks for that.

it's not just me, Google of Buddhism/illusion brings up pages of discussion.

from these Posts and the other pages, I see it as compendium, a progression.

someone in mental illness does not have the same reality as healthy folks, real to them = illusion to us, well maybe not all of us, snicker

someone entrapped in greed and corruption does not have the same reality as those who find simple pleasures.

The only REAL reality, nirvana, has nothing to do with the 5 senses, though. Anything of the 5 senses is illusion, eh?

The smiling monks I have seen saying 'all is an illusion' mean that, maybe?, what people decide to 'sense' is the illusions not 'what' we are sensing.

Now, I believe that is what they mean by it's all an illusion.

example, if politicians driven by greed and bribery are pathetic and UNreal examples of human beings,

not finding the best dream of a good life,, BUT those mrecedes bens, mia nois, yachts, private jets, are real, not an illusion.

their belief they are 'successful' is UNreal.

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The smiling monks I have seen saying 'all is an illusion' mean that, maybe?, what people decide to 'sense' is the illusions not 'what' we are sensing.

Where exactly have you seen smiling monks saying "all is an illusion," who were they saying it to and what was the context? If they were answering a question, what was it? Without knowing this, it's difficult to guess at what they meant.

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The Buddha taught the doctrine of anatta - no eternal soul - and that there is nothing to transcend, only to understand.

Didn't the Buddha also indicate "not self", rather than "no self"?

Does "not self" allow the possibility of something, be it not an eternal soul?

Perhaps the only way we will know is through self experience.

Edited by rockyysdt
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The Buddha taught the doctrine of anatta - no eternal soul - and that there is nothing to transcend, only to understand.

Didn't the Buddha also indicate "not self", rather than "no self"?

Does "not self" allow the possibility of something, be it not an eternal soul?

Perhaps the only way we will know is through self experience.

Where is the ego, the self, the center of the Internet? But everyone uses it in his own way - with more or less delusion.

It's a reality, a mirror of what humans do in their wish to understand the Dhamma.

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The Buddha taught the doctrine of anatta - no eternal soul - and that there is nothing to transcend, only to understand.

Didn't the Buddha also indicate "not self", rather than "no self"?

Does "not self" allow the possibility of something, be it not an eternal soul?

Perhaps the only way we will know is through self experience.

Where is the ego, the self, the center of the Internet? But everyone uses it in his own way - with more or less delusion.

It's a reality, a mirror of what humans do in their wish to understand the Dhamma.

We have spoken of awareness or consciousness.

That something maybe expansion of awareness or consciousness?

Is to experience this, ego?

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Seems every Buddhist sect and school agrees in the concept, Reality is an Illusion

In fact that's what Brahmanism (which later became Hindusim) taught and still teaches, that the world is an illusion above which the atman (eternal soul) should transcend.

The teachings of Buddha as handed down in the earliest written texts rebelled against the notion. The Buddha taught the doctrine of anatta - no eternal soul - and that there is nothing to transcend, only to understand.

I agree with this explanation, but I like to add a few words how I see the difference between understanding something and transcend something.

I.m.o. transcendence goes a little bit further then just understanding. You can understand that smoking is a bad habit, but that doesn't mean that you can drop the habit. If you have transcended the habit it means you have freed yourself of it and can stop.

Transcendence of the mind is for me a way of saying that you have gone beyond pure rationalising. It does not mean that there is "something", a soul or whatever you want to call it, apart from the rationalising mind. The mind does not exist "an sich", ontological, it is a way of functioning, nor is there a transcendental place somewhere above the mind, it remains a way of functioning.

So may be it is just linguistic quabble, but I think transcendence is a word that can be useful in some cases.

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The Buddha was a practical, no-nonsense sort of fellow. He could see no big case for speculation about the existence and permanence of an eternal atman or its putative relationship to Brahman, so he suggested we stop distracting ourselves with these concepts. Better to get on with the business of dealing with the practicalities of leading a rational life, seeing things in their interdependent relationships and enjoying the benefits of doing so.

The Buddha did not providethe last word on whether there is an eternal source or substratum to phenomena. Nobody has provided the last word on this. It's inconceivable that one could do so; hence we get things like Anselm's ontological argument, which everyone can see as absurd, but we can't quite demolish. The universe and even the concept of the universe is absurd, after all. The Buddha really didn't want to go down that track and have his followers end up with the absurdities of Chalcedon or the Sunni denial of causation (Allah having to "will" every action at every time).

For practical purposes therefore, the Buddha allowed the radically reductionist teaching that there is no "self", no "soul", nothing "permanent" on the grounds that these categories are not reducible to instances. Where is the "self"? What are its features? And so on. There appears to be no sum, only parts; no evidence of anything arising from the parts or giving rise to the parts; nothing transcendent. But this is really a strategic argument masked as an ontological one. Because we can't identify and explicate a "self", only the various elements we ascribe to it (memory, sensation, perception, thought, etc) and these are fleeting and insubstantial, we avoid distracting speculation on the self and then dismiss it as anything real. But we should do the same for the mind. The mind is also a "category mistake". We can identify mental features, but not the mind itself. That doesn't stop us talking about the mind as though it is "real". Buddhists do it unceasingly, not because they are devoted to the mind as an ontological given, but because the mind is something we can work with. Strategy, not ontology, drives discussion of the mind among Buddhists. It helps us to "get on with the business of dealing with the practicalities of leading a rational life, seeing things in their interdependent relationships and enjoying the benefits of doing so", as I said above.

Ontologically speaking, there is no problem really with combining Buddhadharma with acknowledgement of the possibility of something eternal and life-giving that underpins phenomena. Indeed, one may intuitively accept Brahman, God, the World-Soul or whatever and find this a great source of comfort and fulfillment, as many have in all the great traditions, including those often labeled "pagan". Strategically, however, because of its more grounded and limited claims, Buddhism is a helpful tradition to work with. It is less distracting and depends on much less faith in speculative or revealed teaching (I'm not talking about "popular Buddhism" here). But it doesn't have all the answers, will not satisfy the eternally curious (there is no satisfaction for them), and does not allow for the mystical intuitions and imperatives that arise among and satisfy many people in the world. The latter, whether rational or otherwise, keep open the doors to wonder and mystery and soften the edges of doctrine that is derived entirely by logic and reduction.

These are my thoughts for the New Year. jap.gif

Edited by Xangsamhua
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The Buddha taught the doctrine of anatta - no eternal soul - and that there is nothing to transcend, only to understand.

Didn't the Buddha also indicate "not self", rather than "no self"?

Does "not self" allow the possibility of something, be it not an eternal soul?

Perhaps the only way we will know is through self experience.

Anatta literally means 'non-soul,' and I take it literally. It is one of the three principle characteristics of existence.

Something else instead? Paramattha dhamma, including khanda or aggregates.

Anything not included in paramattha dhamma? Doesn't appear to be but you never know till you know.

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The only REAL reality, nirvana, has nothing to do with the 5 senses, though. Anything of the 5 senses is illusion, eh?

The only way to know physical reality is through the sense doors, which still function in nibbana for a living person. But I see what you're getting at. It's not that perception is illusion, it's interpretation of perception, just as in your example of madness/mental disturbance. What we think of as 'normal' perception may be functional - as opposed to someone with classic mental illness - but it's incomplete.

The world is real; our interpretation of the world may not be. The mind is mired in delusion, not the world.

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The Buddha taught the doctrine of anatta - no eternal soul - and that there is nothing to transcend, only to understand.

Didn't the Buddha also indicate "not self", rather than "no self"?

Does "not self" allow the possibility of something, be it not an eternal soul?

Perhaps the only way we will know is through self experience.

Anatta literally means 'non-soul,' and I take it literally. It is one of the three principle characteristics of existence.

Something else instead? Paramattha dhamma, including khanda or aggregates.

Anything not included in paramattha dhamma? Doesn't appear to be but you never know till you know.

I suppose most are incapable of answering it, but if there isn't anything else, then cessation of re birth through enlightenment constitutes eternal non existence because there is nothing to exist once the person dies.

Taking that one step further, one achieves the end of suffering by annihilation (end of re birth).

When one doesn't exist they can't suffer.

Edited by rockyysdt
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Our lives are very real YR.

I think what is meant by illusion is our perception of our lives

As we're conditioned, we see our lives and the world around us through colored eyes.

I'm sorry to hear of your friends depression.

She told me she feels like she is not really alive, that nothing is 'real'.

This is often the result or side effect of the powerful drugs depressants maybe prescribed.

I view sufferers of mental illness in a similar way to those with a physical illness.

If the cause of your friends condition is due to a physical deficiency of the body or brain, then she may not have all the tools with which to correctly interpret her self experience.

From my point of view, someone suffering from "mental illness" is nothing more than that person's inability to be accepted into the community at large. Wanting to be "accepted" by someone else is a result of not accepting yourself first, which leads to self-rejection.

She told me she feels like she is not really alive, that nothing is 'real'.

Interacting with our environment, making interpretations of our environment/perception, and then taking the interpretations personally when the interpretations don't agree with the actual environment creates emotional wounds. As children, or adults who have practice self-awareness, those wounds heal rather quickly and we simply turn our attention to the present moment again. But if those wounds don't heal, they get filled with emotional poison and remain infected.

Rather than try to continue to fit into the world (or society's collective interpretation of the way the world should be), the emotional wounds are so deep and painful, she found it better to simply break contact with the outside world and keep to her self while she sorts out all those concepts in her mind. Not good or bad, just a choice. My recommendation would be to share a few chapters of The Voice of Knowledge by Don Miguel Ruiz in audio. He details more how we create our life stories, when we first started to believe in lies, and how we can transform the story.

The Mahayana school likes to talk about the world being an illusion, but I doubt you'll find anything in the Pali Canon that says "reality is an illusion." What Buddhists agree on is that the way we perceive the world is distorted by our own mind, so that what we perceive is not reality. You could say, "what we assume to be reality is an illusion."

From the Buddhist perspective, in a normal, healthy person, reality is distorted. In someone who is depressed or has other mental ailments, it's more distorted than usual. A good example of this is people who are anorexic and see themselves as fat when they are not.

Although mental ailments could also be a sign that the person is rejecting or rebelling against the virtual reality that exists in the mind. A body-initiated, mental self-protective measure. Just like how you can eat pure junk food for years and years and your body will have the apparence of functioning normally, and then the symptoms of indigestion and dis-ease appear on the surface as some of your body functions slow or shut down to protect itself from further harm.

The only way to know physical reality is through the sense doors, which still function in nibbana for a living person. But I see what you're getting at. It's not that perception is illusion, it's interpretation of perception, just as in your example of madness/mental disturbance. What we think of as 'normal' perception may be functional - as opposed to someone with classic mental illness - but it's incomplete.

The world is real; our interpretation of the world may not be. The mind is mired in delusion, not the world.

+1

May I tell her she is an advanced Buddhist? not think so.

I would say perhaps she is advancing. We are all mentally sick with a disease called fear. Some of us are honest enough to admit it and face them.

We chase our own interpretations of the way the world should be and the way we should fit in that world; when we don't fit those [false] images of perfection, self-rejection occurs. There are different ways we can heal; the 4 Agreements always comes to mind. When she no longer relies on the opinions of others, she probably would have been reborn at this stage. She is now using her attention the way she wants too, without all the assuptions and judgements. You will love yourself just the way you are.

Please, only Reply if you can explain, are we 'real'?

answered above

Is loving and laughter real, & suffering an illusion? Is that it? To restate. Actions/re-actions are real. But how we interpret and categorize the events we perceive is a story of our own creation in each individual's mind.

Buddha an illusion, (or) is He 'real'?

Buddha is a concept, no different than any other religion. It is our own way of justifying our existence with our perception. Taking action or experiencing the concepts for oneself that Buddah teaches will determine if the concepts are true/false for each one of us individually.

are petty rules worth a pinch of real Buddhism,,? duh

Not sure if i understand this question, but I see life as a best effort basis. Don't get bogged down in right/wrong rhetoric. Doing your best is about taking action and practicing until whatever you practice becomes a mastery. Doing your best means you and those around you get the maximum benefit from your actions. And if someone else tries to judge you (including yourself), you've got the answer "I did my best." Here is a basic "how to tell if something is real or not": The truth does NOT and never will need your support, validation, or defense. A story DOES need to be constantly defended.

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A quote from Wikepedia:

"The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct is a controversial book by Thomas Szasz and published in 1961. It is highly influential in the anti-psychiatry movement. In it, Szasz argues that mental illness is a social construct created by doctors, and the term can only be used as a metaphor given that an illness must be an objectively demonstrable biological pathology, whereas psychiatric disorders meet none of these criteria. Szasz says that what psychiatrists label mental illness is in fact nothing more than a deviation from the consensus reality or common morality."

The psychiater Szasz wrote a book about mental illness and describes it about the same I think as a Buddha could describe unenlightened persons. The book that I read may be 30 or 40 years ago and of which I don't remember very much, can be read here:

http://psychclassics.../Szasz/myth.htm

The book starts as follows:

"My aim in this essay is to raise the question "Is there such a thing as mental illness?" and to argue that there is not. Since the notion of mental illness is extremely widely used nowadays, inquiry into the ways in which this term is employed would seem to be especially indicated. Mental illness, of course, is not literally a "thing" -- or physical object -- and hence it can "exist" only in the same sort of way in which other theoretical concepts exist. Yet, familiar theories are in the habit of posing, sooner or later -- at least to those who come to believe in them -- as "objective truths" (or "facts")."

In essence I agree with the book (and also with the Buddha): if there is no mind then there is nothing that can be sick, "mind" is just a word, a metaphor.

So so called "normal" people are not living in reality, they live in a kind of mass-psychosis, a common dream. And so called sick people have their individual psychosis, their individual dream but are labelled as sick by the majority because they deviate, do not share the common dream of the majority. Both do not live in reality but live "in (or via) their own mind". An enlightened person does not dream at all and lives in reality.

I think out of what I have read and seen that we can call the state of enlightenment as our natural state, a state in which we are not suffering because of all kinds of dreams, ideas, thoughts. So health and happiness are our natural state, mental sickness and suffering are social products.

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A quote from Wikepedia:

"The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct is a controversial book by Thomas Szasz and published in 1961. It is highly influential in the anti-psychiatry movement. In it, Szasz argues that mental illness is a social construct created by doctors, and the term can only be used as a metaphor given that an illness must be an objectively demonstrable biological pathology, whereas psychiatric disorders meet none of these criteria. Szasz says that what psychiatrists label mental illness is in fact nothing more than a deviation from the consensus reality or common morality."

The psychiater Szasz wrote a book about mental illness and describes it about the same I think as a Buddha could describe unenlightened persons. The book that I read may be 30 or 40 years ago and of which I don't remember very much, can be read here:

http://psychclassics.../Szasz/myth.htm

The book starts as follows:

"My aim in this essay is to raise the question "Is there such a thing as mental illness?" and to argue that there is not. Since the notion of mental illness is extremely widely used nowadays, inquiry into the ways in which this term is employed would seem to be especially indicated. Mental illness, of course, is not literally a "thing" -- or physical object -- and hence it can "exist" only in the same sort of way in which other theoretical concepts exist. Yet, familiar theories are in the habit of posing, sooner or later -- at least to those who come to believe in them -- as "objective truths" (or "facts")."

In essence I agree with the book (and also with the Buddha): if there is no mind then there is nothing that can be sick, "mind" is just a word, a metaphor.

So so called "normal" people are not living in reality, they live in a kind of mass-psychosis, a common dream. And so called sick people have their individual psychosis, their individual dream but are labelled as sick by the majority because they deviate, do not share the common dream of the majority. Both do not live in reality but live "in (or via) their own mind". An enlightened person does not dream at all and lives in reality.

I think out of what I have read and seen that we can call the state of enlightenment as our natural state, a state in which we are not suffering because of all kinds of dreams, ideas, thoughts. So health and happiness are our natural state, mental sickness and suffering are social products.

It's very tempting to use such a model but I think there's a big difference between attachment to ego and the senses vs a psychosis caused by a physical or chemical abnormality of the brain.

I've lived with a schizophrenic for a number of years and have experienced extreme paranoia, including my alleged contribution to a committee whose sole purpose was to break her and take control of her property and wealth as well as to teach her a lesson. This included hidden cameras & microphones, and a network of spies including her family watching her every move, including a partner who was commissioned to take on this role for such a purpose. Towards the end she was screaming at the walls (hidden microphones) and attempted taking a knife to herself.

After several different types a medication one was found which restored her to her pre schizophrenic paranoid state in which she now has her normal heavily conditioned and inflexible view of the world reinstated.

In her case, I think the difference is:

Attachment or aversion to ones conditioned view of the world within a physically healthy functioning brain vs attachment or aversion to ones view of the world appreciably further distorted by a faulty brain or brain function.

I believe Buddhist Abbots are aware of this and stipulate exclusion from Monkhood if one suffers from mental illness.

I don't think Mindfulness could be cultivated with such a brain as the practitioner would most likely be presented with false experiences of awareness and write view.

Edited by rockyysdt
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The Buddha taught the doctrine of anatta - no eternal soul - and that there is nothing to transcend, only to understand.

Didn't the Buddha also indicate "not self", rather than "no self"?

Does "not self" allow the possibility of something, be it not an eternal soul?

Perhaps the only way we will know is through self experience.

Anatta literally means 'non-soul,' and I take it literally. It is one of the three principle characteristics of existence.

Something else instead? Paramattha dhamma, including khanda or aggregates.

Anything not included in paramattha dhamma? Doesn't appear to be but you never know till you know.

I suppose most are incapable of answering it, but if there isn't anything else, then cessation of re birth through enlightenment constitutes eternal non existence because there is nothing to exist once the person dies.

Taking that one step further, one achieves the end of suffering by annihilation (end of re birth).

When one doesn't exist they can't suffer.

Is this one a little controversial to answer?

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A quote from Wikepedia:

"The Myth of Mental Illness: Foundations of a Theory of Personal Conduct is a controversial book by Thomas Szasz and published in 1961. It is highly influential in the anti-psychiatry movement. In it, Szasz argues that mental illness is a social construct created by doctors, and the term can only be used as a metaphor given that an illness must be an objectively demonstrable biological pathology, whereas psychiatric disorders meet none of these criteria. Szasz says that what psychiatrists label mental illness is in fact nothing more than a deviation from the consensus reality or common morality."

The psychiater Szasz wrote a book about mental illness and describes it about the same I think as a Buddha could describe unenlightened persons. The book that I read may be 30 or 40 years ago and of which I don't remember very much, can be read here:

http://psychclassics.../Szasz/myth.htm

The book starts as follows:

"My aim in this essay is to raise the question "Is there such a thing as mental illness?" and to argue that there is not. Since the notion of mental illness is extremely widely used nowadays, inquiry into the ways in which this term is employed would seem to be especially indicated. Mental illness, of course, is not literally a "thing" -- or physical object -- and hence it can "exist" only in the same sort of way in which other theoretical concepts exist. Yet, familiar theories are in the habit of posing, sooner or later -- at least to those who come to believe in them -- as "objective truths" (or "facts")."

In essence I agree with the book (and also with the Buddha): if there is no mind then there is nothing that can be sick, "mind" is just a word, a metaphor.

So so called "normal" people are not living in reality, they live in a kind of mass-psychosis, a common dream. And so called sick people have their individual psychosis, their individual dream but are labelled as sick by the majority because they deviate, do not share the common dream of the majority. Both do not live in reality but live "in (or via) their own mind". An enlightened person does not dream at all and lives in reality.

I think out of what I have read and seen that we can call the state of enlightenment as our natural state, a state in which we are not suffering because of all kinds of dreams, ideas, thoughts. So health and happiness are our natural state, mental sickness and suffering are social products.

It's very tempting to use such a model but I think there's a big difference between attachment to ego and the senses vs a psychosis caused by a physical or chemical abnormality of the brain.

I've lived with a schizophrenic for a number of years and have experienced extreme paranoia, including my alleged contribution to a committee whose sole purpose was to break her and take control of her property and wealth as well as to teach her a lesson. This included hidden cameras & microphones, and a network of spies including her family watching her every move, including a partner who was commissioned to take on this role for such a purpose. Towards the end she was screaming at the walls (hidden microphones) and attempted taking a knife to herself.

After several different types a medication one was found which restored her to her pre schizophrenic paranoid state in which she now has her normal heavily conditioned and inflexible view of the world reinstated.

In her case, I think the difference is:

Attachment or aversion to ones conditioned view of the world within a physically healthy functioning brain vs attachment or aversion to ones view of the world appreciably further distorted by a faulty brain or brain function.

I believe Buddhist Abbots are aware of this and stipulate exclusion from Monkhood if one suffers from mental illness.

I don't think Mindfulness could be cultivated with such a brain as the practitioner would most likely be presented with false experiences of awareness and write view.

I could answer simply that if there is some braindamage it is by defition not a mental illness. But fact is that in psychiatry they make such a mess of the labelling of people and often they don't know what they are doing. As psychiatrist are not enlightened they live in their own dreamworld. For me schizofrenia is in essence a mental disease, not a fysical one. But the labelling is rather arbitrarely. Another point is that body and mind are two sides of the same fenomenon and can not be separated. They can be distinguised but then you are already trapped in the fallacies of the dualistic mind.

With medicines you can repress al kinds of symptoms, and sometimes this may be (temporarely) the best in the given circomstances. But you do not solve anything more permanently i.m.o.

P.s. the link that I gave above does not go to the whole book but only to a part.

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<br> For me schizofrenia is in essence a mental disease, not a fysical one. But the labelling is rather arbitrarely. Another point is that body and mind are two sides of the same fenomenon and can not be separated. They can be distinguised but then you are already trapped in the fallacies of the dualistic mind.<br><br>With medicines you can repress al kinds of symptoms, and sometimes this may be (temporarely) the best in the given circomstances. But you do not solve anything more permanently i.m.o.<br><br>P.s. the link that I gave above does not go to the whole book but only to a part.<br>

Too little is known about schizophrenia and its causes maybe multiple.

People labeled schizophrenics may each have a different or multiple different causes.

If the causes include physical reasons then the person has a hardware issue.

lf the causes are exclusively psychological then the person has software problems.

Those who have software problems will fit into the model put forward and are capable of changing.

Unless repaired in some way many of those with hardware problems have no control over their madness and wouldn't have the tools to be able to interpret mindfulness & right view. Their madness is due to hardware issues rather than wrong view.

With medicines you can repress al kinds of symptoms, and sometimes this

may be (temporarely) the best in the given circomstances. But you do

not solve anything more permanently i.m.o.

In the case l experienced, over a 12 year period, the symptoms were frightening and included severe suffering.

Now, using a new class of drug, the patient has been in remission for a number of years.

She is very lucid and quite normal, in the way most normal unenlightened people are.

Thankfully, her case might be due to chemical imbalances which the drug has addressed.

Edited by rockyysdt
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.... I think out of what I have read and seen that we can call the state of enlightenment as our natural state, a state in which we are not suffering because of all kinds of dreams, ideas, thoughts. So health and happiness are our natural state, mental sickness and suffering are social products.

+1. According to Don Miguel Ruiz (and I concur 100%), the social construct begins at around 3-5 years old when we first begin to invest our attention and faith into abstract concepts. We start to define love, happiness, success, etc based on the definitions that our parents, teachers, pastors, television, etc gave us. We agree with these concepts and begin little-by-little to incorporate these concepts as facts of everyday life. You would really enjoy The 4 Agreements Chapter 2: Domestication of Humans and the Dream of the Planet. If you watch children, (and most animals like dogs and cats) they just want to have fun all the time. Not worried about the past or concerned about the future.

It's very tempting to use such a model but I think there's a big difference between attachment to ego and the senses vs a psychosis caused by a physical or chemical abnormality of the brain.

I've lived with a schizophrenic for a number of years and have experienced extreme paranoia, including my alleged contribution to a committee whose sole purpose was to break her and take control of her property and wealth as well as to teach her a lesson. This included hidden cameras & microphones, and a network of spies including her family watching her every move, including a partner who was commissioned to take on this role for such a purpose. Towards the end she was screaming at the walls (hidden microphones) and attempted taking a knife to herself.

After several different types a medication one was found which restored her to her pre schizophrenic paranoid state in which she now has her normal heavily conditioned and inflexible view of the world reinstated.

In her case, I think the difference is:

Attachment or aversion to ones conditioned view of the world within a physically healthy functioning brain vs attachment or aversion to ones view of the world appreciably further distorted by a faulty brain or brain function.

I believe Buddhist Abbots are aware of this and stipulate exclusion from Monkhood if one suffers from mental illness.

I don't think Mindfulness could be cultivated with such a brain as the practitioner would most likely be presented with false experiences of awareness and write view.

see below

<br> For me schizofrenia is in essence a mental disease, not a fysical one. But the labelling is rather arbitrarely. Another point is that body and mind are two sides of the same fenomenon and can not be separated. They can be distinguised but then you are already trapped in the fallacies of the dualistic mind.<br><br>With medicines you can repress al kinds of symptoms, and sometimes this may be (temporarely) the best in the given circomstances. But you do not solve anything more permanently i.m.o.<br><br>P.s. the link that I gave above does not go to the whole book but only to a part.<br>

Too little is known about schizophrenia and its causes maybe multiple.

People labeled schizophrenics may each have a different or multiple different causes.

If the causes include physical reasons then the person has a hardware issue.

lf the causes are exclusively psychological then the person has software problems.

Those who have software problems will fit into the model put forward and are capable of changing.

Unless repaired in some way many of those with hardware problems have no control over their madness and wouldn't have the tools to be able to interpret mindfulness & right view. Their madness is due to hardware issues rather than wrong view.

.....

So if a dog is born with a physical or mental deficiency, does the dog judge itself as being unfit to walk the earth and do what he or she pleases? From my point of view, we shouldnt judge how the form of attatment or adversion came about. Why? It's irrelevant. Primarily because whether you do something on purpose or accidentally, the end result is still the same. No different than if I knock over a glass on the edge of a table or pick up the glass and throw it to the ground. Same end result of broken glass. The human mind "contaminated" with knowledge has a tendency of categorizing everything.

Of course how it is interpreted by the human mind, will vary from person to person depending on their knowledge, fears, views, etc. And as such, a society or group of monks have the choice to determine what is or isn't a good fit for their own group. And it's nothing personal.

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I suppose most are incapable of answering it, but if there isn't anything else, then cessation of re birth through enlightenment constitutes eternal non existence because there is nothing to exist once the person dies.

Taking that one step further, one achieves the end of suffering by annihilation (end of re birth).

When one doesn't exist they can't suffer.

Is this one a little controversial to answer?

Perhaps the rebirth is a mental one, not a physical one. When we are reborn, it is like coming out of the womb a second time, but this time we get to use our attention the way we choose. We don't have all those other people hooking our attention and making the choices for us (the first birth). You don't have to wait until you die to not suffer. If you see that you are in a situation that is causing suffering, you simply make new choices to effect new outcomes. And you continue to modify your choices until acceptable results are reached.

Say you were detained by police and they proceeded to tourture you endlessly. In this extreme example, one choice may be to take your own life. But if you choose to stay, don't take it personally and do your best to escape or deal with the pain.

But even if you look at it as a physical rebirth, how would you "know" that you came back? If you cannot take your physical possessions with you when you die, what makes us think we can take all those concepts? To me, this is just more knowledge. It may be true only for the person who invented it. Can it be duplicated by anyone who follows exact steps to reach this rebirth?

To say one cannot exist at all is difficult to prove. I think one cannot exist in one form, but that energy would then exist in another form.

The truth is the experience. This can only be done in the present moment, right now. Everything else is either knowledge of our own or someone elses experiences (past) or prediction/prophecy of what one may or may not experience (future).

Edited by 4evermaat
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From my point of view, we shouldnt judge how the form of attatment or adversion came about. Why? It's irrelevant. Primarily because whether you do something on purpose or accidentally, the end result is still the same. No different than if I knock over a glass on the edge of a table or pick up the glass and throw it to the ground. Same end result of broken glass.

I thought whether you do something on purpose or accidentally is very important.

Kharma is all about intent.

So if a dog is born with a physical or mental deficiency, does the dog judge itself as being unfit to walk the earth and do what he or she pleases? The human mind "contaminated" with knowledge has a tendency of categorizing everything.

Dutchquest was illustrating that those with mental issues are similar to those who are simply unenlightened, in that they both suffer from wrong view and illusion or attachment.

I was making the distinction that those who's mental issue is due to hardware(physical causes) differ in that they may be without the tools to allow them to navigate their way to self awareness without attachment and with right view.

It isn't a question of judgment of oneself or of others.

It's a question of whether one has the hardware to allow navigation out of the contamination.

To take an extreme, if I remove ones brain, but keep them on life support, can they travel on a path to enlightenment in that life?

Physical deficiencies of the brain which result in mental illness can be like missing a vital part or subset of that brain.

Without such part or parts one may not possess the ability to allow mindfulness and right view to be cultivated.

Of course every case of mental illness is unique and should be treated as such.

Of course how it is interpreted by the human mind, will vary from person to person depending on their knowledge, fears, views, etc. And as such, a society or group of monks have the choice to determine what is or isn't a good fit for their own group. And it's nothing personal.

Naturally. Every person with mental issues will each have common and/or unique issues and causes. Understanding what one is dealing with is vital in determining what is or isn't a good fit for any group.

Having said that, in my assessment of groups offering Meditation Retreats & Monkhood, I have found practically all of them exclude participants who suffer from mental illness.

Edited by rockyysdt
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Problems originating in the software can sometimes be attributed to failing hardware, and this is something that happens quite often i.m.o.

A heartattack can be attributed to too narrow veins. (it is just an example, I don't know if it is true). This can be a direct causal, hardware explanation of the heartattack, but it is a superficial and half explanation. All kind of social, psychological, behavioral causes in the softwaresphere (stress, smoking, fat food etc.) play an originating role in the occurrence. So things are often not so simple as they look in a positivistic kind of science (against which it is sometimes hard to argue).

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Problems originating in the software can sometimes be attributed to failing hardware, and this is something that happens quite often i.m.o.

A heartattack can be attributed to too narrow veins. (it is just an example, I don't know if it is true). This can be a direct causal, hardware explanation of the heartattack, but it is a superficial and half explanation. All kind of social, psychological, behavioral causes in the softwaresphere (stress, smoking, fat food etc.) play an originating role in the occurrence. So things are often not so simple as they look in a positivistic kind of science (against which it is sometimes hard to argue).

One could argue that the hardware failure might be due to the fruits of kharma but once it occurs one can say two things:

  • One may may no longer be responsible for their actions.
  • One may not have the equipment to climb out of their delusions.

Something that can't be said for healthy humans who have normal domestic illusion.

Edited by rockyysdt
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