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

sjziobro at cs.com sjziobro at cs.com
Tue Jun 29 11:26:54 MDT 2010

I've read some of the material you've provided, though not all of it.  It seems to me, ultimately, that one cannot conceive of anything for one of two reasons.  One reason pertains to dealing with an unknown unknown such that it would not, and possibly could not, occur to us in any manner.  The other reason would be to conflate thinking with existing such that to think anything would be to exist as that thing.  In some schools of thought, namely those which accept Aristotle's epistemology, that which is known and the knower become intentionally one in the act of knowing, and so there is a sense in which to know anything is to be that thing.  Nonetheless, existentially, the knower and the known are not identical such that if one ceases to be the other necessarily ceases to be.  At any rate, this conflation of existing and thinking seems to be the only way one might, contrary to experience, claim s/he cannot conceive of dying.  That would also raise the same sorts of issues in conceiving of living.  I think Jim Peavler's reflection on conceiving of the present is both true and a help inasmuch as he illustrates how it is that some reality may be conceivable even as it is elusive.

The rest of my remarks are to the point that experience is not knowledge.  Experience comports with sense data, which is non-reflective.  What gives it rational coherence is our ability to reflect upon what we experience and in some manner name it, which at that point portends knowledge.

Stan Ziobro

-----Original Message-----
From: lemmett at talk21.com <lemmett at talk21.com>
To: Buddhist discussion forum <buddha-l at mailman.swcp.com>
Sent: Mon, Jun 28, 2010 6:51 pm
Subject: Re: [Buddha-l] Being unable to imagine dying and living

OK but it's not just me who thinks this, I have linked to articles. I'm not sure 
 understand your last sentence.
> This really makes no sense to
 me.  I can easily conceive of my death.  What I
 can't do is die and not die simultaneously in the same
 manner.  What seems to occur via your remarks is a
 confusion of thought and experience and the reflection that
 goes with it.

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