Fear of death. Why?

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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby shjohnk » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:07 am

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Last edited by shjohnk on Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:38 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Shonin » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:15 am

"Fear of death. Why? "

Some people fear oblivion, some the unknown, others hell. The rest fear the loss of the things they are attached to.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Moggalana » Thu Aug 12, 2010 9:44 am

Hi Kenshou,

your initial post reminds me a lot of Epicurus :)

Epicurus also believed (contra Aristotle) that death was not to be feared. When a man dies, he does not feel the pain of death because he no longer is and he therefore feels nothing. Therefore, as Epicurus famously said, "death is nothing to us." When we exist death is not, and when death exists we are not. All sensation and consciousness ends with death and therefore in death there is neither pleasure nor pain. The fear of death arises from the false belief that in death there is awareness.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epicurus#Pleasure_as_absence_of_suffering
Let it come. Let it be. Let it go.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby effort » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:22 pm

thats simple,
"because we dont know then what"
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby dhamma follower » Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:36 pm

Because of self-view. When self-view is eradicated, so is the fear of death : there's no one to die anymore
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Kenshou » Thu Aug 12, 2010 8:33 pm

To be a nitpicker, while I don't doubt that the removal of the "conceit-of-I-am" or asmi-mana would remove fear of death with it, I'm unsure if the same can be said of the removal of sakkaya-ditthi. Since the actual ego-clinging isn't gone until arahantship, though the stream-enterer knows that their self-identification is wrong. I think.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Vepacitta » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:30 am

Hey there - if death is 'not being' (no flames - I'm using conventional speech here) then what is there to fear?
In "Letters from a Stoic" - letters from Seneca to a young student stoic philosopher, Lucilius, Seneca states:

"So death is having all these tries at me, is he? Let him, then! I had a try at him a long while ago myself. [when?] Before I was born. Death is just not being. What that is like I know already. It will be the same after me as it was before me. If there is any torment in the later state, there must have been torment in the period before we saw the light of day; yet we never felt conscious of any distess then. I ask you, wouldn't you say that anyone who took the view that a lamp was worse off when it was put out than it was before it was lit was an utter idiot? We, too, are lit and put out. We suffer somewhat in the intervening period, but at either end of it there is a deep tranquility. For, unless I'm wrong, my dear Lucilius, we are wrong in holding that death follows after, when in fact it precedes as well as succeeds. Death is all that was before us. What does it matter, after all, whether you cease to be or never begin, when the result of either is that you do not exist?"

(and that's an actual quote and not a paraphrase :jawdrop: - take a picture - I won't do that often!)

Hence my posting in another thread that if there are no 'literal re-births' - why bother [with any] religion or philosophy - as- ultimately - it won't matter. However, it may help one in the 'intervening period'.

From Mt. Meru,

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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby adosa » Fri Aug 13, 2010 1:44 am

Death? I'm not sure. Then pain leading to death? I know I don't relish that idea.


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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby dude » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:25 am

Kenshou wrote:
shjohnk wrote:I remember hearing a talk by a monk who had disrobed (He is still a committed Buddhist) where he mentioned that he had reached states in his meditation at his monastery where he felt 'himself' beginning to disappear, and he was afraid, so he disrobed. I think this touches on what you are saying, kenshou.


Silly goose, he should have kept going!




Easy to say. Somebody needs to work on their humility.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby dude » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:28 am

"Well, i guess ultimate nibbana is not everyone's goal. For my part, I would love to have that dilemna! "

Yeah, but it's not as easy as either of you seem to think. Fear is one the final obstacles.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby shjohnk » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:33 am

dude wrote:"Well, i guess ultimate nibbana is not everyone's goal. For my part, I would love to have that dilemna! "

Yeah, but it's not as easy as either of you seem to think. Fear is one the final obstacles.


Sorry if my comment sounded flippant. I was aware that it would as I wrote it. i'm removing that post. I don't think it's easy at all: I'm finding 'myself' so inadequate in many, many aspects I'm not going to criticize anyone for anything they do in their dhamma practice, let alone one who made such great progress. Apologies for my flippancy and i'll be more prudent with my posts from now on.

May all beings be happy and well.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby mikenz66 » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:46 am

Hi shjohnk,
shjohnk wrote:Sorry if my comment sounded flippant. I was aware that it would as I wrote it.

I don't think anyone was saying that your post was flippant. As dude says, some of the insight stages are reported to be very very difficult and challenging, so it's useful to have particular examples. I think a lot of us have had scary meditation experiences. I had an experience on a retreat once where my body felt like it was dissolving (which was very likely some artefact, not any kind of real insight), which freaked me out so much I had trouble concentrating for about a day.

There is a tendency to think that being monk or being on a meditation retreat is supposed to be some kind of vacation, but the reality of confronting how things are is not always easy or pleasant.

Mike
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Kenshou » Fri Aug 13, 2010 4:55 am

dude wrote:
Kenshou wrote:Silly goose, he should have kept going!
Easy to say. Somebody needs to work on their humility.


So glad you're here to tell me what to work on. But seriously, it was a joke, nothing more intended. And additionally neither me or schjonk said it was "easy".
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby siddhartha2010 » Sat Aug 21, 2010 4:50 am

I am more scared of the thought of parents leaving me. for e.g. i had this urge to end this life before I saw my parents leave.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby Kim OHara » Sun Aug 22, 2010 10:07 pm

Yes - the death of others is a loss to ourselves even if (as others have said) our own death may not be.
But we do have practice at dealing with it, when the other goes away for an overseas holiday or something, or when we leave home to go to school or work in another city.
:namaste:
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby AdvaitaJ » Sun Aug 22, 2010 11:27 pm

dude wrote:If you were looking at a door and had no way of knowing what was behind it, would you not be afraid to walk through it?

And it has a big "No Re-Entry" sign on it!
The birds have vanished down the sky. Now the last cloud drains away.
We sit together, the mountain and me, until only the mountain remains.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby ground » Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:26 am

PeterB wrote:Its not just Monotheistic religions that talk of hell states. That's a form of social control popular among some Buddhists too.



I heard thus. At one time the Blessed One was living in the monastery offered by Anàthapiïóika in Jeta's grove in Sàvatthi. The Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus from there. Bhikkhus, like a man standing between two houses with doors standing adjacently would see people entering, leaving, wandering and roaming in the two houses. Likewise I see with my heavenly eye purified beyond human, beings disappearing and appearing, unexalted and exalted, beautiful and ugly, in heaven and in hell. I see beings according their actions: These good beings conducting well by body, speech and mind, not blaming noble ones, developing right view, bearing the right view of actions, at the breakup of the body, after death, go to increase, are born in heavenThese good beings conducting well by body, speech and mind, not blaming noble ones, developing right view, bearing the right view of actions, at the breakup of the body, after death, are born with humans. These good beings mis -conducting by body, speech and mind, blaming noble ones, developing wrong view, bearing the wrong view of actions, at the breakup of the body, after death, are born in the sphere of ghosts These good beings misconducting by body, speech and mind, blaming noble ones, developing wrong view, bearing the wrong view of actions, at the breakup of the body, after death, are born with animals. These good beings misconducting by body, speech and mind, blaming noble ones, developing wrong view, bearing the wrong view of actions, at the breakup of the body, after death, decrease, and are born in hell.

Bhikkhus, the warders of hell take him by his hands and feet and show him to the king of the under world `Lord, this man is unfriendly, not uniting, not chaste, does not honour the elders in the family, mete him the suitable punishment.
...


Then the warders of hell give him the fivefold binding. That is two hot iron spikes are sent through his two palms, and two other hot spikes are sent through his two feet and the fifth hot iron spike is sent through his chest. On account of this he experiences sharp piercing unpleasant feelings. Yet he does not die, until his demerit finishes. Next the warders of hell conduct him and hammer himOn account of this he experiences sharp piercing unpleasant feelings. Yet he does not die, until his demerit finishes. Next the warders of hell take him upside down and cut him with a knifeOn account of this too he experiences sharp piercing unpleasant feelings. Yet he does not die, until his demerit finishes. Next the warders of hell yoke him to a cart and make him go to and fro on a ground that is flaming and ablaze On account of this too he experiences sharp piercing unpleasant feelings. Yet he does not die, until his demerit finishes. Next the warders of hell make him ascend and descend a rock of burning ambers On account of this he experiences sharp piercing unpleasant feelings. Yet he does not die, until his demerit finishes. Next the warders of hell throw him upside down into a boiling, blazingpot of molten. Therehe is cooked in the molten scum, and he on his own accord dives in comes up and goes across in the molten pot. On account of this too he experiences sharp piercing unpleasant feelings. Yet he does not die, until his demerit finishes. Next the warders of hell throw him to the Great Hell.
....

``Bhikkhus, I say this not hearing from another recluse or brahmin, this is what I have myself known and seen and so I say it


Devadåtasutta
http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/Pali ... duta-e.htm

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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby PeterB » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:59 am

So you accept T Mingyur..that the Buddha taught this, and meant literally that if, for example we disrespect our elders we have hot spikes put through our hands feet and chests ? That is your considered view ?


It sounds to me like classic social control by those who will stop at nothing to exercise it.

Its tosh. We did not crawl out from under the rock of Christianity after millenia in order to buy into its Asiatic cousin.
Every time you see respect of elders or the Sangha or killing arhats and so on mentioned in the context of hell, you can be absolutely sure that they were inserted at a much late dater by those with a vested interest in so doing.
If thats Buddhism give me Dawkins every time.
However I think its self evidently not in the same tone or voice as the profound and radical teaching of the Buddha.
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby shjohnk » Mon Aug 23, 2010 12:48 pm

Is this 'Devadåtasuttaü' in the Pali Canon?
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Re: Fear of death. Why?

Postby ground » Mon Aug 23, 2010 1:45 pm

PeterB wrote:However I think its self evidently not in the same tone or voice as the profound and radical teaching of the Buddha.


I think it is evident that people tend to accept what they like and negate what they dislike.

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