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Author Topic: Neo-Buddhism  (Read 6412 times)
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Pharaoh Cat
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« on: January 02, 2012, 02:12:07 AM »

Hey, if we can have Neoplatonism, neo-Darwinism, and neoconservatism, then why not Neo-Buddhism?  (Capitalization and hyphenation are arbitrary here because sometimes English is just no help, much like prayer.)

Let me know if you think anyone could benefit by thinking about what follows.


Neo-Buddhism

1. Many of us suffer needlessly much of the time.

2. Suffering is made possible by fear.  (Without fear, experience is neutral.  Fear is what turns an experience negative.)

3. We tend to fear what we believe we can't survive.

4. Many of us came to believe in childhood that we can't survive what we actually can.

5. We can shed erroneous beliefs about what we can't survive by continually repeating to ourselves the Great Truth.

6. The Great Truth is that we can't die except by assault to the body, so absent that, we are not under mortal threat, and we have nothing to fear.

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Stevil
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« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2012, 02:31:55 AM »

Neo-Buddhism

1. Many of us suffer needlessly much of the time.

2. Suffering is made possible by fear.  (Without fear, experience is neutral.  Fear is what turns an experience negative.)

3. We tend to fear what we believe we can't survive.

4. Many of us came to believe in childhood that we can't survive what we actually can.

5. We can shed erroneous beliefs about what we can't survive by continually repeating to ourselves the Great Truth.

6. The Great Truth is that we can't die except by assault to the body, so absent that, we are not under mortal threat, and we have nothing to fear.
I disagree with:
2. Even without fear we can experience suffering. E.g. pain
3. I donít have a fear of drowning, although I canít swim, I do love the water. I donít have a fear of flying although I know sometimes plane crash. If I am about to die and I have knowledge of the event, I will probably be fearful.
6. Many people have fear of things that they know they will survive. Myself, being shy, I have a great fear of being in a room full of strangers. I know Iím not in danger. It is an irrational fear, but I have it none the less
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Pharaoh Cat
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« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2012, 03:06:33 AM »

2. Even without fear we can experience suffering. E.g. pain

That's false, actually.  Sensation without fear is just sensation.  It isn't pain.  Learning to quiet the internal fear alarm is precisely how people learn to perform tasks to completion despite sensations that would cause other people to stop and pull away.

3. I donít have a fear of drowning, although I canít swim, I do love the water.

So you've learned how to be in the water without fear, and since you're still alive, you've learned how to be in the water without the water constituting a serious assault to your body.  How Neo-Buddhist of you!  You're a walking advertisement for Neo-Buddhism!  You'll be receiving a complimentary Neo-Buddhist "What's fear got to do with it?" bumper sticker in the mail.

If I am about to die and I have knowledge of the event, I will probably be fearful.

As well you should, since an assault to your body is imminent.  Eminently Neo-Buddhist!

6. Many people have fear of things that they know they will survive. Myself, being shy, I have a great fear of being in a room full of strangers. I know Iím not in danger. It is an irrational fear, but I have it none the less.

I contend that you fear the room full of strangers because as a child you somehow came to the conclusion that you in fact would not survive being in a room full of strangers.  I propose as a cure continual repetition of the Great Truth, especially when about to enter a room full of strangers.
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Stevil
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« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2012, 03:23:30 AM »

2. Even without fear we can experience suffering. E.g. pain

That's false, actually.  Sensation without fear is just sensation.  It isn't pain.  Learning to quiet the internal fear alarm is precisely how people learn to perform tasks to completion despite sensations that would cause other people to stop and pull away.
This is going to turn into an argument of word definitions.
Pain is a signal the body sends to the brain, generally to spark it into action because it is likely that action is needed to avoid pain which might represent immediate danger. Even if it doesn't represent immediate danger e.g. getting a tooth drilled or an injection, it is still painful. That sensation, that's pain, that is.

6. Many people have fear of things that they know they will survive. Myself, being shy, I have a great fear of being in a room full of strangers. I know Iím not in danger. It is an irrational fear, but I have it none the less.

I contend that you fear the room full of strangers because as a child you somehow came to the conclusion that you in fact would not survive being in a room full of strangers.  I propose as a cure continual repetition of the Great Truth, especially when about to enter a room full of strangers.
I whole heartedly disagree with this. My three year old is already exhibiting strong shyness traits, she goes all goofy and loses the ability to speak in a room full of strangers. I am pretty sure there is a genetic aspect, not a repressed memory.
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Pharaoh Cat
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2012, 04:08:23 AM »

Pain is a signal the body sends to the brain, generally to spark it into action because it is likely that action is needed to avoid pain which might represent immediate danger. Even if it doesn't represent immediate danger e.g. getting a tooth drilled or an injection, it is still painful. That sensation, that's pain, that is.

It's hard, at first, but possible to tease apart the sensation from the fear.  The two are simultaneous and the fear is intense, but with practice you can master the distillation of fear from sensation.  They are in fact two things, not one.  Pain is two simultaneous phenomena, sensation and fear.  You can experiment with this.  Learning to disengage the fear aspect can be useful in certain endeavors.  One good example is exercise.  When your muscles start to hurt, you can train yourself to let the sensation wash through you without fear. 

My three year old is already exhibiting strong shyness traits, she goes all goofy and loses the ability to speak in a room full of strangers. I am pretty sure there is a genetic aspect, not a repressed memory.

Then you've identified a genetic predisposition to equating a room full of strangers with mortal danger! Wink

I don't how old your daughter would have to be for this to be appropriate, but at some point an experiment could be attempted.  She could be taught to think, upon entering a room full of strangers, "If they don't like me, I won't die.  I won't even bleed.  My bones won't break.  I won't feel a thing.  I'll be just as safe as l am when I'm alone.  Not being liked isn't dangerous."
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2012, 07:13:01 AM »

Does anyone else think of this scene from Donnie Darko when they see the word 'fear' used in a philosophical sense.

I agree with you Pharaoh Cat that the reaction to pain is a by product of fear, you can still feel pain without a fear but its that fear of pain that makes you react, take for example the Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc who burnt himself to death in protest  (the guy on the cover of Rage Against the Machine self titled album) I bet that hurt a lot but he composed himself embraced the sensation and not once did he flinch or scream in agony. Same goes for people that are prejudice of a certain group of people, they are usually fearful of some element that is embodied by that group of people be it real or not and wont overcome the prejudiced unless they realize the fear is irrational.
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Wessik
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2012, 03:19:08 PM »

It seems to lack depth.
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