Individual wrote:If you aren't looking for abiding happiness (or an even more deep, more profound sense of equanimous inner peace and clarity), why are you practicing Buddhism? Numbness to suffering? Numbness and death?
If one is free from suffering, how can one be numb to suffering or numb to death? When a mind is free from suffering, there is no suffering to be numb to. Further, there is no death. There is merely selfless change or impermanence.
Individual wrote:]Peter... An inference based on the Pali canon.
The Dhamma is eternal (SN 47.13), precisely the reason it's a secure refuge:"But, Ananda, when he attained total Unbinding, did Sariputta take the aggregate of virtue along with him? Did he take the aggregate of concentration... discernment... release... the aggregate of knowledge & vision of release along with him?"
"No, lord, when he attained total Unbinding, Ven. Sariputta didn't take the aggregate of virtue... concentration... discernment... release... the aggregate of knowledge & vision of release along with him.
The passage you are referring to does not say Dhamma is eternal. Dhamma as truth or true nature of reality is eternal but human realisation of Dhamma is not eternal. I would suggest you consider the following part of the sutta:
It was as if my body were drugged, I lost my bearings, things weren't clear to me, on hearing that Ven. Sariputta had attained total Unbinding."
It's just that he was my instructor & counselor, one who exhorted, urged, roused, & encouraged me. He was tireless in teaching the Dhamma, a help to his companions in the holy life. We miss the nourishment of his Dhamma, the wealth of his Dhamma, his help in the Dhamma."
Individual wrote:The Buddha's body is the Dhamma (SN 22.87):Enough, Vakkali. Why do you want to see this filthy body? Whoever sees the Dhamma sees me; whoever sees me sees the Dhamma.
Now, if the Dhamma is eternal... And the Buddha is the Dhamma... Then this logically means... hmmm? Could anyone here finish the inference for me?
The above quote does not say the Dhamma is the Buddha's body. You are sounding like a Mahayanan muni, declaring the guru is the Dhamma.
I have been advised of a post you made on another site, about those who tirelessly taught you the Dhamma from the Buddha's lips, for your welfare and benefit. I recommend if you chant the following verse about those who tirelessly taught you the Dhamma from the Buddha's lips, you may regain your senses again, just like Ananda regained his senses. Remember what the Buddha said about relating to him as a friend and not as an enemy, that he will not treat you like soft clay.
Kāyena vācāya va cetasā vā,
Saṅghe kukammaṃ pakataṃ mayā yaṃ,
Saṅgho paṭiggaṇhatu accayantaṃ,
Kālantare saṃvarituṃ va saṅghe.
Whatever bad kamma I have done to the Saṅgha
by body, by speech, or by mind,
may the Saṅgha accept my admission of it,
so that in the future I may show restraint toward the Saṅgha.