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For my happiness, I desire this the most:
Wealth 10%  10%  [ 8 ]
Power & Respect 5%  5%  [ 4 ]
Hedonism 16%  16%  [ 13 ]
Knowledge 12%  12%  [ 10 ]
Enlightenment 13%  13%  [ 11 ]
Family & Companionship 29%  29%  [ 24 ]
Ignorance 10%  10%  [ 8 ]
Health & Longevity 5%  5%  [ 4 ]
Total votes : 82
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2005 11:08 am 
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Tzupy wrote:
4) Rebirth is not a 'pretty sweet deal', considering that it could be in hell(s). Would anyone like to spend time there? I hear it's quite crowded, though...


Are you even supposed to go to hell unless you do something really wrong? And it was refered to as a cycle, so if hell was part of it it can't be permanent, unlike the hell Jesus would like to send us to if we don't do as he says.

I was thinking of westeners as those who would consider it a good deal(though this probably also applies to east asians), and it seems to me like belief in reincarnation would make us feel much better. Stress is a major problem in our lives, and the idea that our current lives are not all that significant and not our only chance, and also that we shoulldn't fear death, would alleviate that a lot. Yes some of us have Christianity for that, but the idea of heaven is so far fetched that it's a lot harder to believe in.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 1:52 am 
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Rebirth in hell doesn't need to be the result of a 'really wrong' deed. A behaviour that generates bad kamma, a lot of which can result in rebirth in hell, may be accepted or even encouraged by the social environment. And the destination of rebirth depends on the overall kamma of an individual, although there are some 'terribly wrong' deeds that can result in rebirth in hell for an eon (not meaning that one life in hell last an eon, it's just dying in hell and getting reborn in hell many, many times). Bad kamma may also result in rebirth as an animal, hungry ghost or angry demon. Or, if reborn as a human, in a miserable life, subject to poverty, slavery, disease, etc.
No deity can send you to hell, just like it can't send you to heaven. Actually, a deity can kill you, but the destination for rebirth is just the result of your kamma. Understanding this simple truth is growing up - spiritually - taking full responsibility for the consequences of your deeds.
Our current lives are significant (rebirth as a human is not that common as it may seem), and the most significant moment is the very present, not the past nor the future. It's in the present moment that one can cleanse the mind and generate good kamma instead of bad one. Of course, not generating any kamma is the best, but for most people it's too difficult to explain why and how to.
Not fearing death because of rebirth is a mistake. Someone that knows what he is not does not fear death anymore, but fears rebirth instead.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 9:39 am 
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Tzupy wrote:
No deity can send you to hell, just like it can't send you to heaven. Actually, a deity can kill you, but the destination for rebirth is just the result of your kamma.


and you know this FACT because? you're stating absolutes about something that NO ONE KNOWS. maybe you're spouting what your religion believes, but its still a belief. at least preface statements like that with "i believe" or something. to do otherwise is to lose all credibility.

my advice: join a religion that does not have a 'hell'.... eternal damnation sure sounds like a bitch. and since religions can make up whatever the heck they want, just pick one you like. of course, as an athiest, i tend to think my viewpoint is a little more realistic.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 12:17 pm 
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flyingsherpa, I agree that I should have presented these opinions in a less categorical manner. For those who posess direct knowledge, obtained through meditation, these aren't just opinions, they are facts. For me, some are opinions of the doctrine (Theravada), others are results of my own direct knowledge. I should have made a difference between the two, but it would have been difficult.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2005 8:03 pm 
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Sounds to me like hinduism isn't much different from christianity.

Scinju's comment about religious aspirations being especially important to him because he's a hindu doesn't make sense to me, it's important to him because he's religious. Religious goals are even more important to religious christians because if they fail in them, they're going to hell forever.


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 Post subject: Tough call.
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:12 pm 
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"whatever existence has a beginning, and therefore has an end."
You just quoted The Matrix Revolutions! :shock:

I voted Health & Longevity, but that's not truly correct either. I'd love to have the hearing (acutity and no tinnitus) that I had when I was 10. I'd love to be able to lose weight like back then just by eating carefully, and how quickly excersize paid off.

Longevity is for crap. Quality over quantity. If I could have perfect health until whatever age and then just fall over dead, great, even if it's shorter than average.

When you're in really bad health even the best intentioned family members don't visit as often at the nursing home. When you're still funny and can hand advice when it's asked for they'll visit more often.

The other poster was right, contribution is also important. Some things are very clear cut. Example: For $240 you can cure someone of leprosy. Somewhere out in the world are people I helped cure, without being a doctor. I will never know them and they will never know me, and that's OK. I did not cure them, but I set the wheels in motion. Pretty neat.

I also would like my own family, kids, pets, and a large odd shaped room devoted to stereo heated with lots of glowing vacuum tubes, orange, purple, but no flames.

And then there's chocolate.

I am not comfortable with the H word, as I've always pictured Hedonism as pure excess. I think you can enjoy food without being a hedonist, otherwise wouldn't religon limit people to gruel? And since I am heading in that direction don't many religious eating rules seemed to be geared towards good health?

I suspect that many older people who want less are not becoming more enlighted. Many are, but not all. I suspect many older people lose interest in life gradually and they slowly spend more time and energy simply dealing with pain.

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 Post subject: Hmmmm
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 2:35 pm 
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Quote:
After all, with enlightenment, you wouldn't feel the desire for anything else


Egads, it sounds like depression.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 4:31 pm 
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I read the poll as the thing you desire most to the exclusion of everything else. Meaning if you could only have one thing on that list and everything else taken away, which one would you have?

For me, a long healthy life would be empty without family and friends. It would also be quite dull without many other things.

BTW, I saw Hedonism as essentially: Drinking, Dancing, and Debauchery :). Whether it will make you happy or not is another question.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 5:57 pm 
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sthayashi wrote:
Hedonism. Though Family/Companionship would be up there too if I didn't already have plenty of that.

For me, everything else is simply a means for it.

(Not just in reply to your post)
The question is ambiguous since happiness could mean what we regard as pleasant or something more objective and absolute (", could be what we want or what we actually want. By the first understanding it is identical with hedonism, with wealth, power, etc. a means to that; knowledge and enlightenment fit under the second understanding (unless they refer not to absolute knowledge but to certain perhaps desirable states of mind).


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2005 7:17 pm 
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sthayashi wrote:
I read the poll as the thing you desire most to the exclusion of everything else. Meaning if you could only have one thing on that list and everything else taken away, which one would you have?


That would be extreme to the point of cruelty. How about a lot of that one thing and little of everything else? No wait, that would still suck.

Not that that's at all a bad way of looking at the question, there's lots of stories about evil genies.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 1:04 am 
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Quote:
Egads, it sounds like depression.


Not at all. What is depressing about knowing the truth? Becoming enlightened is becoming less depressed. Hedonists are the lowest species of sentient beings. Those who refuse hedonism but consequenty become depressed are a step above, those who learn the truth about hedonistic pleasure and consequently don't need it are at the top.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2005 5:16 am 
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@aristide1: actually, understanding (by direct knowledge, not conventionally) this simple truth is called 'possesing the Dhamma Eye', and it was stated by the Gotama Buddha about 2,500 years ago.


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