[Buddha-l] Laughing at enlightenment

Richard P. Hayes rhayes at unm.edu
Sun May 8 21:27:04 MDT 2005

On Mon, 2005-05-09 at 03:32 +0100, Mike Austin wrote:

> I choose to be healthy, wealthy and handsome, but this is not made so by 
> virtue of the wish.

If you choose to see your appearance as handsome, your physical
condition as health and your financial status as wealthy, then choosing
to see things in that way is precisely what makes you healthy, wealthy
and handsome. Nothing else possibly could achieve that than your choice
to so believe.

> Buddha gives a diagnosis of our state of existence.

The Buddha said things that you chose to believe was a diagnosis of your
existence. You convinced youself, perhaps, that you are deluded in
thinking you are happy. Or you may have convinced yourself that you
engineered your own unhappiness. But what if you chose not to believe
such things? What if you were to believe that you are happy when you are
happy and unhappy at other times and that, as Clint Eastwood said,
"Deserve's got nothing to do with it."?

> We are not obliged to accept it. I don't see any attempt to persuade. It 
> is up to us if we want to hear it or read it.  If we want to dismiss it, 
> we are at liberty (bad choice of word) to do so.

Yes, of course. That is exactly my point. But it does not answer my real
question. My question is: are we better off when we choose to believe it
that if we choose to believe otherwise? And by what criterion could one
possibly have any confidence that she has correctly assessed whether or
not she is better off one way than another?

> I feel that the 'best' is realisable - it becomes a real possibility -
> the more I practise 'better'.

Bt what could be better than believing that nothing could be better than
how you are right now?
Richard Hayes
Department of Philosophy
University of New Mexico

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