Enlightenment: Coming to Peace with One’s End

12 Jul

Meditation and Enlightenment:  Coming to Peace with One’s End

This atheism video from Youtube gets us to really think about the issue of death versus our transcendentalizing urges to escape it and/or grasp at life in the face of our ultimate end.  (Thank you to Mike at the Inspirationalfreethought blog for pointing it out)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygzWasRLUUA&feature=player_embedded

Particularly interesting in light of the following consideration of the philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer on the topic of death.

http://darwiniana.com/2009/11/07/schopenhauer-on-death/

Is that what this gig’s about then?  Not afterlife or rebirth cycles (as in the whole Buddhist metaphysical doctrine on the subject), but coming to peace with one’s own moment of passing? … I wonder.  Because, if it is, then, that makes a lot more sense to me of what there is to Buddhist practice  & meditation-based exercise than all of the whole mystical, metaphysical excess that comes with the religion of Buddhism.

It wouldn’t be about breaking the cycle of rebirths through
enlightenment.

But via enlightened insight through meditation, we’d learn to come to grips with our own end, consciously and emotionally, in this life.

Does that sort of an idea resonate with anybody else?  Have you ever thought about the issue more on these terms than via the concept of rebirth and reincarnation?   If so, then tell me about it and share your reflections in the comments section.  Thanks.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Enlightenment: Coming to Peace with One’s End”

  1. dianoeidos July 29, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    Luke Rondinaro Wrote:

    Is that what this issue is about then? Not afterlife or rebirth cycles … but coming to peace with one’s own moment of passing? … That makes more sense to what there is to Buddhist practice & meditation-based exercise than all of the whole mystical, metaphysical excess that comes with the religion of Buddhism. It wouldn’t be about breaking the cycle of rebirths through enlightenment. But via enlightened insight through meditation, we’d learn to come to grips with our own end, consciously and emotionally, in this life.

    John Landon Replied:

    Luke, the question of soul is a permanent stalemate, and it is futile to start preaching scientific fundamentalism on the subject. I am well aware of the problems with soul beliefs, but that doesn’t make their core out to be false. Again, the thinking of Kant can help here. In general we are stuck: in we affirm soul we end in confused beliefs, if we negate it, we end with an equally false view of man.

    _____________________________________________________________________

    Actually, I’m not preaching science fundamentalism – merely suggesting there’s an alternative here to the metaphysics of rebirth/afterlife. … That is, a humanist, naturalist position that looks to these traditions in Taoism and Buddhism as being a means of coming to terms with the reality of the world, the impermanence of things, and the finality of death. That’s all I was pointing out in my remarks.

    The inevitability of death needn’t be seen as being something dark and foreboding, or in need of being reasoned away in favor of metaphysical beliefs. These practices or life’s-ways, by their emphasis on the transience of things and embracing emptiness, are the perfect modality by which individuals can learn to make peace with death/moments of passing. And, in that regard, they can be quite useful for end-of-life discussions, philosophical considerations of death, and so on.

    That’s why I found this video so interesting, and why I tied it back to the Schopenhauer post and the continuing Buddhism discussions. It points out a way [in the way that I presented it] to rethink the death/meaning-of-life issue in a worthwhile humanist fashion … a means by which these issues may be addressed (apart from the metaphysical baggage of after-life/rebirth).

    Scientistic views on the subject may be as tenuous as religious ones … But why, then, should the crassest of these religious views (i.e., reincarnation and heavenly realms) be accepted as gospel-truth alternatives to gutter-level scientism, when they are often as off-kilter and roughshod as anything scientific reductionism has produced in its conceptualization of the world? … It strikes me that there’s a better way of dealing with this matter. And, that’s why I framed my discussion of this video as I did. Overall, I thought it was a very neat segment.

    Too bad that the good points it had to make are lost in a culture of controversy over ‘scientism-versus- religionism.’ As it stands, reductionist materialism leaves only a functional nihilist vacuum in its wake; and, yet, that in itself, is more than religion has to offer with its metaphysical mirages. Both paradigms come up empty after all, but it’s worse with religion since it offers a pretense for ‘being about something’ and about ‘something more’ in life. With “scientism’ and “materialism”, at the very least, what you see is what you get. No more, no less! Therefore, its empty space is more tolerable than the religionist one. It never tried to posit a Wizard of Oz for the proverbial ‘man behind the curtain.’

    As I stated previously, Buddhism and Taoism both could go a long way in running with this “don’t be a slave to your end” argument in their toolkits and as a supplement to their original philosophies. They could use this naturalist, humanist point to far greater effect than it is currently being used in contemporary atheist circles. And who knows? Maybe they could even help raise the philosophical bar on what it means to hold an atheistic perspective or to be an atheist. I’d hope so in light of current discussions/debates over the New Atheism.

    But, even if all they ever did was to just pick up the mantle of this argument, they’d be doing a world of good by it. This video made sense. The metaphysics of religion, however, doesn’t. Religion produces nothing but phantasms. The “core” of reality is [just] “what-it-is.” And, in the end, it’s nothing more than a “space.” Yet, there’s more in that single “space” than in all the metaphysics of the world’s various religious visions put together.

    In this case, “0” really is GREATER THAN “1” … [ “0” > “1” ]. The principle of “Emptiness” necessarily trumps metaphysical concepts and beliefs. It has to. Its source is in the direct apperception of reality in itself in an experiential sense within the world. Strip away the veneer and only a blank “space” is left. Yet out of that space all the substance of the universe emerges. That, in itself, is much more than the metaphysical output of whatever religion as a creative force in the world has ever produced. In the end, religion only produces ‘white noise’ or ‘static’ in the fabric of reality. But, it’s only in the ‘silence’ of the universe where things really get interesting.

    For out that “silence” creation emerges, and only though that “silence” can we ever come to terms with the world. Only then, by understanding this “space” and making peace with it at last, will we ever come to peace with our ‘end’ in life. That way, we won’t be “[slaves] to [our] end.”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Darwiniana » Comment: sould beliefs, and ancient testimony - July 13, 2011

    […] Comments nemo on Schopenhauer on deathEnlightenment: Coming to Peace with One’s End | dianoeidos on Schopenhauer on deathPaul Harrison – Master Nomi on Meditation and the brainDarwiniana » […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: