beeblebrox wrote:I had the distinct impression that you said that the arahants were already "non-existing beings," so that's why there's no annihilation.
Right. What we call a being is a conditioned process of mental & physical factors. The process does exist, and one process can be distinguished from another process. Since it is a process and not a Self being that has any mastery over things, it is unsatisfactory. One cannot control the reality such as "let me experience always blissful bodily feelings.", etc, etc.
Also, I was bit confused when you said that the tetralemma only applies after death... which seemed to imply that one of these 4 things can be said about the arahants before death. If those were mistaken, then I apologize, Alex. Also... your constant equivalence between parinibbāna and atheist's one-life death didn't help.
The tetralemma does NOT apply after death because the launching point of the question is the assumption of a Self (or Arahant, or Tathagata) as a Self existing being.
That question asks "What happens to an Arahant as a Self existing being after death
"? The 4 kinds of answers do not apply because they imply a fate of a Self. To definately answer the wrongly put tetralemma would assent to its basic premise of an Existing Self. It would be like trying to answer a tricky question of "have you stopped beating your wife
?" , any type of answer would make it look like you did beat your wife. This is why the Buddha refused to answer yes/no to the tetralemma.
I don't believe in an Atman or Self. Furthermore, as long as one believes in Self or possesion of the Self, then of course the complete cessation would feel threatening. It would be viewed as part of a Self that ceases. But if what has ceased (5 aggregates) were never under full control, and were never The Self, then their cessation is not a bad thing.
retrofuturist wrote:The difference between your form of annihilation and that of the classical Indian traditions, is that you chop the atman up into 5 pieces before wanting to annihilate it. Either way, you crave the annihilation and permanent destruction of things you perceive to exist.
The suttas are clear that all that arises is just dukkha, and all that ceases is just dukkha that ceases. To cling to anything (such as awareness, will, consciousness, life, etc) is only clinging to Dukkha. It is like grabbing a red-hot iron ball and tightly holding it. It betrays the fact that one is still attached to something.
It’s only suffering that comes to be, Suffering that stands and falls away. Nothing but suffering comes to be, Nothing but suffering ceases.”SN 5.10 Vajirå Ven BB Trans.