nowheat wrote:I am not talking about having achieved some ... Release From Death.
Well, I suppose since one is no longer reborn, one no longer dies. No point in making this complicated.
Oh but there is a point, though it's not "making" it complicated, it's in recognizing that it *is* complicated. The Buddha put so many layers into "The Deathless" that if we just latch onto one, all we see is the finger pointing at the moon, and miss the moon by an AU.
kirk5a wrote:Well then you can't say you know what the Buddha meant by "Released" then, can you.
Yes, I can, and do. The confusion here is my fault, for which I apologize. I realize now that when discussing the different universes these terms reside in, I should be careful to be specific about which death I am talking about. I should have said, "Release From Literal Death".
The perception that The Deathless is some mystical state is caused by falling for the romance of the language the Buddha was using as he subverted others' terms for their doctrines and practices to his own. The Deathless is what they sought in the Upanishads -- it's the equivalent of liberation -- and the Buddha uses the same term for the liberation he describes, but obviously he doesn't mean the same thing -- kind of strange if he was saying "after you die something wonderful will happen" just like everyone else was saying.
What I love about his definition, though, is the way his compares to everyone else's Deathless -- which were all about reaching some high state of meditation or practices in this life that would set one up for a blissful, deathless state *after death* (so much for Deathless!) -- whereas the Buddha's Deathless was all about *in this very life* and he offered up an elegantly constructed argument (DA) that not only explained what was going on, and pointed to what could be done about it (and why) but allowed him to use terms like The Deathless in a way that was consistent with his suggestion that we not concern ourselves with lasting selves and where they go at death. The man was brilliant (maybe a little too clever with these sorts of subtleties, which then get too easily misunderstood).
I am saying The Deathless isn't a great mystical state or Release From (literal) Death. I am saying it is a state of being liberated from the specific circumstances of DA, and that it is release from the Death he defined there, which is, really, just dukkha.