Thank you for visiting our new forum! To start posting again please follow the link below to create a new password. First time forum users please follow the link to register. CFI thanks you for continuing the discussion on evidence-based thinking and humanist values.

On the question of ultimate reality: Specifically for Xain

Forums Forums General Discussion On the question of ultimate reality: Specifically for Xain

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 115 total)
  • Author
  • #307572
    Tee Bryan Peneguy


    You still don’t get it do you


    I’m feeling a little discouraged right now, because I honestly think I do…to the extent that anyone can “understand” what someone else is going through.

    I’ve dedicated some time and effort here, Xian, because I believe that I experienced something very similar to what you seem to be experiencing.

    I think I have been respectful and validating. I have even expressly asked that others be respectful of you, also.

    I don’t expect you to change your thinking.

    I’m not telling you that Buddhism isn’t true.

    I’m not telling you to “just stop worrying about this,” because I honestly don’t believe that you can.

    I’m not berating you, nor am I expressing frustration or exasperation.

    This is what I see, Xain, based on what you have written here (and I assume you are a “he,” but let me know if I’m using the wrong pronoun):

    ◈ ━━━━ ⸙ ━━━━ ◈

    Xain is deeply concerned about the meaning of life.

    It’s very important that he believe what is objectively true, not just what he wants to believe, or what he creates in his own mind.

    Xain has read testimonies from Buddhists who say Buddhist beliefs and practices are true. The experiences people have shared about Buddhism sound real and convincing.

    Xain wants to believe what he has read about Buddhism, but he is also unsure. What if he is wrong? 

    Xain keeps asking himself this (What if?) and seeking confirmation from others. But whatever they say, pro or con, doesn’t feel right.

    Xain feels trapped between needing and wanting to believe, and needing and wanting to believe the truth, whatever it is. But how can he know for sure?

    Actually, Xain wishes he could stop thinking about this. But he can’t. It just goes around and around in his head, unsettled, and he can’t be sure.

    The not-knowing, the what-iffig, the rumination, is causing Xain tremendous anxiety.

    He looks around and thinks it’s weird that no one else seems to care about this…but also wishes he were more like them, because life would be easier if Xain didn’t have to care about this…about whether or not Buddhism holds the true meaning of life.

    It’s an awful burden, and it feels like there is no escape.


    ◈ ━━━━ ⸙ ━━━━ ◈

    @snowcity, can you let me know if I am understanding you? If not, can you explain what I have wrong?



    Xain said,

    Like when they say that we don’t miss actual people just the times we had with them, which hurts because I thought it was the people. When I share this people say it’s not true but because a Buddhist site said it then it must be so.

    You might want to cite Kahlil Gibran: “we weep for that which was once our delight”

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Write4U.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by Write4U.

    It does feel like there is no escape.

    Tee Bryan Peneguy



    It does feel like there is no escape

    So that was the only thing, in all that I took the time to write, that was correct?

    Okay. Well, again, I guess I’m as off-base as everyone else.

    I’m sorry if you are suffering (I can’t really tell). I guess I can’t help, either.


    Tee Bryan Peneguy


    @snowcity You know I started this thread specifically for you, right?

    And I read through every single one of your posts and comments.

    I actually took some time and effort to begin a respectful dialogue with you.

    But (and I almost NEVER say this to people!) it seems pretty clear that you DON’T want to be helped, or even heard or understood.

    So, forgive me for wasting your time. Take care.


    It’s emotionally draining to want to help when everything you say rejected out of hand and your time and effort isn’t appreciated.

    Even if it’s not Xian’s fault due to mental issues, it’s still draining.


    Don’t feel bad, Tee, most of us have taken a shot or 2 or 3, at trying to help Xian out.

    Tee Bryan Peneguy

    Thanks, @timb and @3point14rat and @write4u.

    I don’t think @snowcity is bothering to read this (or ready to read it, I mean), but I’ll post anyway. Perhaps he will come back in a few weeks or months.

    I’m 100% positive I know what is going on with Xain, because the very same thing happened to me.

    Most folks have some awareness of “classic” obsessive-compulsive disorder. But unless you have personally experienced it, you truly can’t comprehend it. Having OCD isn’t like being “Monk.”

    However, most people (even professionals) don’t know about “Pure O” OCD — obsessions that are just in your head, and don’t lead to compulsions (washing, locking, etc.)

    In many ways, “Pure O” OCD is worse, because there is no compulsion to provide temporary relief, and also because it seems asymptomatic to OTHERS, most people with OCD never get help.

    Two subsets of “Pure O” are “Scrupulocity” (religious OCD) and “Existential” (or philosophical) OCD.

    These are obsessive ruminations about religious practices, or spiritual or intellectual truths, and fears about being wrong.

    I believe this is what afflicts our Xain.

    This form of OCD is less common than classic OCD, but it is much more common than people think. No one talks about it.

    It happens to people of all religions/ideologies, and none. It is hard to explain, but (for example) there are atheists who have Catholic scrupulocity. The OCD is actually separate from religious faith. (Even religious therapists realize this, if they are properly trained.)

    To be super clear: This is NOT just being really devout, or fascinated with religion or philosophy. Preoccupation with these issues isn’t “interesting” or a way to pass the time. It is not enjoyable. It is horrible. People can lose jobs and families. It is disabling. It is an illness, just as schizophrenia is an illness.

    It also does not respond to logic, which is why, @lausten, talking to Xain about logical fallacies doesn’t change anything.

    There are treatments, including SSRI meds and very specific forms of therapy. But there is no “cure.” For a lot of people, including me, OCD just morphs from one type to another. It switches on and off when it wants to, but it can take months or years.

    Anyway, when I first developed this (summer of 1984), I thought I was completely alone.

    BTW, I knew I wasn’t going to “change Xain’s mind.” I simply wanted to verify…and it looks like I was right.

    I don’t expect him to agree that it is an illness … I would not have, at first…. but perhaps I can plant a seed.




    My post contained several links, but one of them is preventing it from going through. So I will post them individually below…

    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Tee Bryan Peneguy

    I think I would have struggled to come up with those extensions of OCD based solely on the  diagnostic criteria in the DSM-5.   But I suppose that the field of support for OCD is expanding.

    Thanks for that hypothesis and perspective.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 115 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.