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On the question of ultimate reality: Specifically for Xain


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

This topic contains 114 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  Xain 3 days, 14 hours ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 91 through 105 (of 115 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #309921

    Xain
    Participant

    That I would have to follow everything that Buddhism says and it would involve losing things I love to do and like, losing my “self”, treating loneliness as some kind of disease to be cured, among many others. I don’t understand how people can read the same things I see about Buddhism and let it go,I really don’t. I know they do and I’ve tried but the compulsion is so strong and it feels like I’m MISSING SOMETHING that is absolutely crucial and necessary. But that was the same with other things I tried to let go, and eventually I caved and the cycle repeats.

    #309932

    TimB
    Participant

    What if you only had 8 hrs left to live?  Would you be concerned about that stuff?  Would you still be trying to decide whether Buddhism is best for you? Still trying to figure out some possibly missing and critical information?

    #310036

    Xain
    Participant

    Yes, yes I would.

    #310039

    TimB
    Participant

    Wow that sux.  How about, instead, you get a dutch chocolate ice cream cone.  Or maybe 1 dip each of 2 of the following: Mint chocolate chip, butter pecan, &/or dutch chocolate.

    #310047

    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    But that was the same with other things I tried to let go, and eventually I caved and the cycle repeats.

    This was one of the things I asked you about … whether you have had things stick in your brain in the past, the way Buddhism does now. And from this, I infer that you have.

    You see, Xain, this:

    I don’t understand how people can read the same things I see about Christian salvation and let it go, I really don’t. I know they do and I’ve tried but the compulsion is so strong

    … is a sentence I could have written myself a few years ago. In fact, I spent so many hours on so many online forums seeking some sort of reassurance, I probably DID write that sentence — more than once! I saw everyone else in the world was just going about their lives, unconcerned about it… and I was flabbergasted by that.

    But you’ve told me several times that I’m totally wrong and don’t understand you at all. So I guess there is nothing more I can say. A suggestion for you to just forget about this and go have some ice cream is probably more helpful than anything I could tell you. I’m sorry for being so arrogant.

     

    #310051

    TimB
    Participant

    Hey, I was the arrogant SOB that suggested the ice cream.  Later, I thought, oh jeebus, I hope he is not diabetic.

    #310052

    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    @timb

    I knew that you were the SOB. But of course, if he has only 8 hours to live anyway, the diabetes wouldn’t matter.

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

     

     

    #310053

    Xain
    Participant

    Ice cream doesn’t work and my hobbies don’t either because this stuff ruins them. With ice cream I can’t stop thinking about it, and what I read tend to bleed into the hobbies and ruins them. I know buddhism said that the enjoyment I have of things is all in my head and not because of any “essence” that the object has, and that hurt a lot because it’s like saying me liking things was imaginary (because if there was something about the thing I liked then everyone would react that way). I lost a lot of magic that I want to get back, but I also want to be right and apparently Buddhism says that to do that I have to let go of my judgments, opinions, and values. I want to be right but also happy, but I don’t want to live a lie and see a clouded world.

    I just don’t know what to do. I’ve tried to let it go, but it’s the same with other things. In my mind it feels like I need to know and that when I say no to something it’s just confirmation bias. I know it was the same with every new thing I read, which makes it hard for me to read and learn new things because I tend to be a runaway train with them until a new disaster comes.

    Coupled with the belief that because someone believes in something there must be some truth to it, especially if it has impacted their life in a measurable way. And I cave instantly if someone else doesn’t agree with me, it’s like I am automatically wrong. I just feel like I don’t have the tools I need to navigate life.

    #310055

    TimB
    Participant

    Dammit.  That all sounds pretty crappy.  I hope you can start feeling better, somehow.

    #310057

    Lausten
    Keymaster

    Coupled with the belief that because someone believes in something there must be some truth to it, especially if it has impacted their life in a measurable way. And I cave instantly if someone else doesn’t agree with me, it’s like I am automatically wrong. I just feel like I don’t have the tools I need to navigate life.

    I know logic is not really at play here, but you do form logical progressions, they just kind of always loop around back to where you started. This idea of you caving is not my experience. In fact you stay pretty steady with what you start out with, rejecting every suggestion that you might be “wrong”. I try to avoid language like that when someone asks for life advice because you can’t really be wrong, it’s what’s right for you that matters. At least you are stuck on Buddhism, you could have made much worse choices for something to be obsessed with. If “impacted their life in a measurable way” is actually something you are paying attention to, you should be able to go back and find some pretty decent stories of success in these threads. Also podcasts like “Everyone’s Agnostic” have guests on all the time who changed their life and are happier now. Could be some therapy for you.

    #310072

    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    I know this has nothing to do with what Xain is going through, and it’s a totally a off-topic non-sequitur, but imma cut & paste excerpts from one of the articles I’d referenced earlier:

    _____________❂_____________

    Many of us grapple with existential questions about the meaning of life, the universe, existence, and so on, at one point in our lives.  ….

    Steve, a 26 year-old computer programmer: “I can’t stop thinking about why we’re all here and whether there’s any purpose to life. I keep going over it in my mind all day long. I have continual thoughts of how one day I’ll be dead and no one will remember me. It will be as if I never existed. Then I ask myself, what is the use of doing anything if we’re all going to die anyway?”

    Existential OCD involves intrusive, repetitive thinking about questions which cannot possibly be answered, and which may be philosophical or frightening in nature, or both. The questions usually revolve around the meaning, purpose, or reality of life, or the existence of the universe or even one’s own existence.

    These same questions might come up in a university philosophy or physics class.  However, most people can leave such classes or read about these topics and move on to other thoughts afterwards. Similar to other forms of OCD, individuals with Existential OCD can’t just drop these questions.

    Existential obsessions are often difficult to recognize, as they might seem like the questions many of us wonder about sometimes and then move on from with a shrug of the shoulders. Existential obsessions might also be confused with the kind of thoughts people experience when they are depressed, continually going over negative thoughts about how meaningless life may seem. But, Existential OCD is far more complicated than that.

    Individuals with existential obsessions typically spend hours going over and over these questions and ideas, and may become extremely anxious and depressed. When they do seek help, they may be seen as suffering from worries or existential fears, or be misdiagnosed as suffering from Generalized Anxiety Disorder. However, when a person battles ongoing intrusive, repetitive, persistent, anxiety-producing, doubtful thoughts of this nature, it is most likely Existential OCD.

    Kristin, a 34 year-old homemaker: “I can’t get the idea out of my head that everything I see isn’t real. How do I know I’m not really in a coma, or else dreaming, and that my whole life is imaginary? I start to wonder if my husband and children are real and it frightens me terribly.”

    Even if you do not have Existential OCD, you may have had existential obsessions at one point in time, spending hours analyzing why you are having your particular thoughts and questioning exactly what these thoughts may mean. This is just another type of compulsion that accompanies obsessive thoughts, and never leads to any true answers.

    When you have OCD, your obsessive doubts cannot be argued with, reasoned out, analyzed, or questioned — this is especially the case with Existential OCD. There are never any lasting answers to obsessive questions. Whatever answers you may come up with can last a few minutes, but then quickly slip away in the face of newer doubts. The doubts may vary a bit, but are mostly variations on a theme.

    You may wear yourself out trying to find answers, or trying to get the thoughts out of your head, but these are the worst ways to deal with OCD. As mentioned previously, there are no answers to existential or any other obsessive questions.

    Marty, a 19 year-old college student: “Every day I spend hours looking at myself in the mirror and I wonder – Is this really me? How do I know? What makes me, me, and how do I know I am who I think I am? How do I know the things I feel are my own real feelings, or that my thoughts are my own real thoughts? I also keep thinking about how vast the universe is and how we’re all just tiny specks that are meaningless. I keep thinking that because we are so insignificant, nothing we do matters, so why not give up on everything?”

    ⊱⋅ ──────────── ⋅⊰

     

    #310073

    Tee Bryan Peneguy
    Participant

    @lausten

     At least you are stuck on Buddhism, you could have made much worse choices for something to be obsessed with.

    While, as Viktor Frankl explained, suffering is relative, I also thought the above. In my case, I feared that being wrong would result in my suffering eternal conscious torment in a literal lake of fire after death, or the awareness that my loved ones were suffering this fate. This led to particular decisions I made about marriage and my income, and pretty much literally did destroy my life.

    #310130

    TimB
    Participant

    I had that thought also.  In fact, I thought it was a quote from me.  But I guess that Lausten somehow navigated my mental landscape and copied that thought (or maybe vice a versa, maybe I…).

    #310131

    TimB
    Participant

    BTW, Tee, I am glad you came back from that life destruction.

    #310144

    Xain
    Participant

    Usually I think going agnostic would be like coming from something like Christianity or Islam, not really BUddhism. But then I don’t really hear much about the people who tried it and it didn’t work, and I find Buddhism rather confused with it’s teachings. They say that it goes beyond logic and the conceptual mind and that words are just the finger pointing at the moon. But I think deep down they are mistaken about their experience and revelation. But they sound confident and they are transformed by it so it’s hard for me to ignore them. I wish I could, because I can honestly say my life would have been better not knowing any of this or reading it.

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