[Buddha-l] Being unable to imagine dying [confused]

Gad Horowitz horowitz at chass.utoronto.ca
Sat Jun 5 15:12:50 MDT 2010

Has anyone asked lemmet how old he is?

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Hayes" <rhayes at unm.edu>
To: "Buddhist discussion forum" <buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com>
Sent: Saturday, June 05, 2010 5:06 PM
Subject: Re: [Buddha-l] Being unable to imagine dying [confused]

> On Jun 5, 2010, at 1:47 PM, lemmett at talk21.com wrote:
>> What I'm asking is if I were to take seriously the authority behind the 
>> fourfold negation of the Buddha's existence after death, apply that 
>> doctrine of his final death to my own upcoming one and then add the 
>> argument for one's own non existence being inconceivable: then should I 
>> conclude anything about the possibility of death being a positive 
>> nothingness ("slipping into the night").
> I'm afraid the fourfold negation is purely an intellectual exercise that 
> has no bearing whatsoever on anything as practical as the question you are 
> asking. About the only thing you can conclude from the fourfold negation 
> is that there is no self that will either endure or perish. But so what?
>> Or if "black velvet" remains very unlikely, does death take on a 
>> different significance according to these motivations I have adumbrated 
>> just now.
> Death, like life, has no significance whatsoever in itself. Insofar as it 
> has any significance at all, it has the significance you have chosen to 
> give to it. It may be worth looking into why you have made the choices you 
> have made in giving various things significance.
>> Also I might add that, I think, that there is certainly something or 
>> other to Buddhist contemplation in that there is a sense in which a self 
>> cannot be found inhering in phenomena.
> The non-self doctrine seems to me like an answer to a question that no one 
> is asking, or a cure to a disease that no one actually has.
>> I haven't unpacked that analytically but then I can't do so at all easily 
>> to the belief of death's inconceivability either. At least without 
>> reading Derrida anyway.
> No condition can possible be so bad that reading Derrida would be worth 
> undertaking to find relief. Buddhist dogma may be a cure for a disease no 
> one has, but Derrida is a disease for a cure that no one has found.
> But ignore me. I'm old, prejudiced and happy to be both.
> Richard
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