[Buddha-l] Being unable to imagine dying and living

lemmett at talk21.com lemmett at talk21.com
Sat Jun 26 14:42:25 MDT 2010

>Iain Thomson's office is right next to mine in the philosophy department. He'll be>tickled to learn that his work is being cited on buddha-l. By golly, he'll know he's>hit the big time now that the denizens of buddha-l have begun quoting his work.

Awesome, tell him I'm his biggest fan lol. I'm trying to let Aporias percolate my whole being...
>Many years ago I wrote a piece in which the principal argument was that the>Buddha probably knew that death is a complete and irreversible end to one's>consciousness and that the entire Buddhist path is designed to help people come>to the realization that the oblivion that follows the end of consciousness is not at>all a dreadful thing. Since people do, however, dread their own future oblivion,>they are told what they are more prepared to believe, namely, that their>consciousness will survive the death of their present body and that this will keep>happening until they see that oblivion isn't so bad at all. The idea of rebirth, I>said, was probably a kind of thought experiment that was never meant to be>taken as a description of reality. It was a way of saying "If you think death is>bad, imagine what it would be like if you couldn't die at all and just kept begin>reborn." People would recoil at horror at the idea and gladly accept the>alternative. I
 correlated this acceptance to the final of the seven stages that>Kübler-Ross outlined in her work on the stages people go through after being told >they are terminally ill. The final stage is calm acceptance of one's exit, which I>am quite sure is what nirvāṇa has to be if it is anything at all.
That does sound interesting, to me. I am still concerned whether oblivion has to be a kind of "black velvet" or "slipping into the night". What do you think of that? If you do mean that you're going to mention Buddha-l to Thomson, what does he think of that? Here's a link to what I *don't* *think* I believe, if I've been too unclear http://www.naturalism.org/death.htm


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