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Nirvana

Discuss philosophical questions regarding theism (and atheism), and discuss religion as it relates to philosophy. This includes any philosophical discussions that happen to be about god, gods, or a 'higher power' or the belief of them. This also generally includes philosophical topics about organized or ritualistic mysticism or about organized, common or ritualistic beliefs in the existence of supernatural phenomenon.
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AresKenux
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Nirvana

Post by AresKenux » August 21st, 2018, 2:23 pm

Nirvana.
What do you think of it?
What do you know about it?
Can anyone attain it?
If attained, how is it sustained?
Is it vital to mental health?
If yes, then it what ways?
If no, then why not?

I myself, feel as though nirvana, is a universal concept. Attained in many various ways, depending on the personality and behavior of each individual.
I think it's about releasing and relinquishing the cares and worries of things that are not truly important, in order to recognize that which is wholly important. Such as variations of many healthy virtues. I feel as though it can be practical, once sustained in itself, to change the world for the better. By showing ourselves as examples of virtue, instead of just speaking or thinking it.

But I'd like to hear, your opinion on the topic, and would like to be corrected if I have misconstrued nirvana's definition.

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Hereandnow
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Re: Nirvana

Post by Hereandnow » August 29th, 2018, 9:21 am

Like all concepts, it has to be unpacked. Practical virtues, changing the world? These are down the road a piece and I would suggest that they are almost incidental, that is, they are not essential aspects of nirvana at all.
Ask of a concept, what is its nature? before asking how it is achieved and what effects it may have beyond itself. Nirvana is first and foremost a qualitative condition. What is this condition? Simple: happiness in the extreme. The getting there and the social consequences are quite beside the point, but it is so individually conceived, so essentially solitary, that they actually have a name for compassionate Buddhists to set them apart, which is Bodhisattva.

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Re: Nirvana

Post by Eduk » August 30th, 2018, 3:31 am

Han, happiness in the extreme is not a simple concept, in my opinion. For example I could be happy holding my new born son, or winning the lottery, or my cancer going into remission, or smiting my foes, or conning someone, or chasing the dragon.
I guess I'm saying there are good and bad and fake ways of achieving happiness.
Also at what point does happiness become extreme. Wouldn't that be quite subjective?
Unknown means unknown.

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Nirvana

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 30th, 2018, 5:18 am

AresKenux wrote:
August 21st, 2018, 2:23 pm
Nirvana.
1) What do you think of it?
2) What do you know about it?
3) Can anyone attain it?
4) If attained, how is it sustained?
5) Is it vital to mental health?
6) If yes, then it what ways?
7) If no, then why not?

1) Seems like a decent enough idea to keep people behaving better.
2) I know it is a human invention.
3) obviously not.
4) It is only sustained as an idea in the human community.
5) Since only a minority of sane people believe or follow this myth the answer is obvious enough.
6)
7) Since the existence of Nirvana is beyond any empirical verification, it is clear that the idea is pure invention since no human can have first hand knowledge of a future reward.

It's pointless trying to pretend the existence of a thing which can only be sustained by cultural myth.

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Hereandnow
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Re: Nirvana

Post by Hereandnow » August 30th, 2018, 5:30 pm

Eduk:
Han, happiness in the extreme is not a simple concept, in my opinion. For example I could be happy holding my new born son, or winning the lottery, or my cancer going into remission, or smiting my foes, or conning someone, or chasing the dragon.
I guess I'm saying there are good and bad and fake ways of achieving happiness.
Also at what point does happiness become extreme. Wouldn't that be quite subjective?
Yes, very subjective, absolutely so. What happens when you sit and meditate for hours, days, years. It's not about good deeds, though such things are compatible with nirvana in the same way, I would hazard, that Christian love is.

Actually, I think happiness is a simple concept, though it does encompass many different kinds of engagements or indulgences. It is what i would call an abiding feeling of well being, one that has endurance. This pizza may taste good, the ride in my Lamborghini, yes, the one I don't have, smooth and luxurious, but aside from these physical pleasures, as I experience them, if there is an abiding sense that all is well, then I am happy, to some degree; if not, the taste, the ride, a very limited in their enjoyment. I love my daughter, my wife, and others, but what does this mean if not that when they are around or I think of them, I feel that same sense of well being. There is, granted, a difference in the contribution the things that make me happy provide, but essentially they are the same. I think happiness is not so qualitatively different, but the things we engage in are.

I ask this question: when we fall in love, whence comes this experience? The beloved does not literally give the love to the other, rather, they just show up and there you are head over heels. It is not what someone gives, it is rather produced within, and s/he is the catalyst. One way to think about nirvana, the reasonable way, I think, is to see this capacity to generate love within as what Buddhists try to realize independently, and they do this apart from the ways the world makes things complicated and messy, like finding out the one you love snores in bed, is a terrible parent and is a fool.

Interesting thing, romantic love: pure happiness while it lasts.

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Burning ghost
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Re: Nirvana

Post by Burning ghost » August 30th, 2018, 6:03 pm

If you experience the height and don’t know how to hold the depth it’ll be for nothing and possibly you’ll be worse off.

The adage of “Be careful of what you wish for” springs immediately to mind when people talk of “bliss”, “nirvana” or other iterations of that “psychotic break”.
AKA badgerjelly

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Hereandnow
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Re: Nirvana

Post by Hereandnow » August 30th, 2018, 9:34 pm

Well, there is some truth in this, BG. Imagine what it would take to entirely withdraw from people, form human dasein. On the other hand, I actually think the Buddhists are right, and far, far ahead of their time. The Buddhist argument is air tight if you look closely.

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LuckyR
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Re: Nirvana

Post by LuckyR » August 31st, 2018, 2:04 am

ThomasHobbes wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 5:18 am
AresKenux wrote:
August 21st, 2018, 2:23 pm
Nirvana.
1) What do you think of it?
2) What do you know about it?
3) Can anyone attain it?
4) If attained, how is it sustained?
5) Is it vital to mental health?
6) If yes, then it what ways?
7) If no, then why not?

1) Seems like a decent enough idea to keep people behaving better.
2) I know it is a human invention.
3) obviously not.
4) It is only sustained as an idea in the human community.
5) Since only a minority of sane people believe or follow this myth the answer is obvious enough.
6)
7) Since the existence of Nirvana is beyond any empirical verification, it is clear that the idea is pure invention since no human can have first hand knowledge of a future reward.

It's pointless trying to pretend the existence of a thing which can only be sustained by cultural myth.
True enough. It belongs in the same category with omnipotence, omniscience, perfection and other examples of the infinite which do not exist in reality.
"As usual... it depends."

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Burning ghost
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Re: Nirvana

Post by Burning ghost » August 31st, 2018, 2:23 am

Hereandnow wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 9:34 pm
Well, there is some truth in this, BG. Imagine what it would take to entirely withdraw from people, form human dasein. On the other hand, I actually think the Buddhists are right, and far, far ahead of their time. The Buddhist argument is air tight if you look closely.
Dasein means zilch to me. You know that. Air tight? Bull ****
AKA badgerjelly

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ThomasHobbes
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Re: Nirvana

Post by ThomasHobbes » August 31st, 2018, 5:32 am

Hereandnow wrote:
August 30th, 2018, 9:34 pm
. The Buddhist argument is air tight if you look closely.
As tight as a duck's anus - and that's water-tight. But I'd give you more for a duck's a r s e than I would for the laughable reincarnation cycle.

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Hereandnow
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Re: Nirvana

Post by Hereandnow » August 31st, 2018, 8:53 am

Buddhsim is not about reincarnation, unless you fancy arguing about non essentials and mahayana distractions. It would be a strawperson argument, taking the least and marginal feature, positing it as essential, then thinking you've grasped what it is. A fool's errand. Best to look more closely.

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Re: Nirvana

Post by Eduk » August 31st, 2018, 9:10 am

Yes you shouldn't expect to learn about Buddhism simply by googling Buddhism.
All Buddhist traditions share the goal of overcoming suffering and the cycle of death & rebirth, either by the attainment of Nirvana or through the path of Buddhahood
Clearly Wikipedia is just trolling Buddhists. Actually I think Wikipedia do rather explain Buddhism well here
Buddhism encompasses a variety of traditions, beliefs and spiritual practices largely based on original teachings attributed to the Buddha and resulting interpreted philosophies.
This tells you nothing other than Buddhists believe lots of different things for different reasons.

Perhaps Hereandnow you can save us regular folks from having trawl through sources and just link one which you feel best represents the 'real' Buddhism.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Nirvana

Post by Hereandnow » August 31st, 2018, 9:42 am

Eduk: not to be a cliche, but there is a very good reason the Zen master tosses that fan at the inquiring student.

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Re: Nirvana

Post by Eduk » August 31st, 2018, 9:55 am

Eduk: not to be a cliche, but there is a very good reason the Zen master tosses that fan at the inquiring student.
Because Zen is all made up so there is no underlying consistent reasonable methodology to explain? Special pleading always raises alarm bells with me.
Unknown means unknown.

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Re: Nirvana

Post by Hereandnow » August 31st, 2018, 11:49 am

Then read Kierkegaard''s Concept of Anxiety. It has some christian hogwash, but don't let this put you off: it is brilliant is giving you exactly the answer you're looking for. The answer leis in an examination of the structures of consciousness. The rigorous practice of Bhuddism is a yoga, a technique for suspending the conditions in experience that keep full awareness and happiness at bay. The method is to make consciousness into a singularity, thereby, in time, delivering oneself from karma, which is nothing more, despite what others may say, then a release from the projection of "rationalized facticity" that creates the "future" of our everyday lives. think about it, look into the nature of what it is to experience anything and you see Time. Time is karma. Now that is not metaphysics and I would be happy to defend this as you please.

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