Samsara must have an end?

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Vinc
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Samsara must have an end?

Post by Vinc »

When I attain enlightenment and then die, all what I am, all the 5 skandhas (even consciousness) cease to exist. What remains is the only "thing" which is permanent and uncondioned - Nirvana. But Nirvana already exists now, even if I am unenlightened. So what really is "won" by enlightenment is not Nirvana, because Nirvana already exists, but the eradication of myself, the extinction of a part of Samsara -> suffering.

If Samsara has end, that means, the beings caught in Samsara becoming enlightened and therefore less and less with time, until there are no beings anymore, then Samsara is completey extinguished and all that remains is Nirvana.

If Samsara has NO end, so if it goes on to exist forever, there would be always beings caught in Samsara, suffering -> infinite suffering. So when I attain enlightenment, a certain amount is subtracted from that infinite suffering, but the amount of suffering is still infinte (because infinity doesn't get less if you subtract something from it)!
∞ - 100 = ∞
So there is nothing really "won" by me attaining enlightement. What is the sense of pursuing enlightenment then?

Because the Buddha clearly stresses the importance of pursuing enlightenment, my logical conclusion is: Samsara must have an end.
What do you say?
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by Ceisiwr »

I would avoid such metaphysical/cosmological entanglements.
"Because of attachment to doctrines one approaches and refutes,
For those unattached, how can they dispute?
Not because self or no-self are said to be true,
He has only shaken off all harmful views."


Duṭṭhaṭṭhaka Sutta
coconut
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by coconut »

Vinc wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:39 am

If Samsara has end, that means, the beings caught in Samsara becoming enlightened and therefore less and less with time, until there are no beings anymore, then Samsara is completey extinguished and all that remains is Nirvana.
Samsara is a closed cycle.

The chance of someone escaping that closed cycle is 0.000000000000000000000000000001%

The Buddha said that the probability of you being born human in a time of a Buddha is virtually zero. Now even if you were born human at the time of the Buddha, most people still rejected the Buddha.

Now, here is something to throw your mind for a loop:

Even if the percentage of escape is 0.00000000000000000000001%, that would still mean in infinite time, eventually everyone would have escaped correct?

Well, if that were the case, then WHEN does this event happen? Since time is infinite and everyone must escape, then you shouldn't be here right now correct? Does this event happen now? did it already happen? If everyone has to escape, then when does this event happen? It has to happen right, events must happen, if they don't happen then they're not events.

Do you get it? In an infinite time, an event should have already happened, but when the event is happening in the moment, how can that be in an infinite time?

It's kind of hard to put into words, but think about it.

When it comes to time, it's better to assume there is no time. Time is not real. Aging is real, but time is not. Aging is based on impermanence, time is a concept that measures the relativity between two objects.

edit: to clarify

Time is two objects moving. Earth vs Moon = Month. Earth vs Sun = Day and Year

It's just two objects moving in space. If there was no earth or no sun, then there would still be movement (impermanence) but there would be no "time" to measure. Movement/change is real, time is not.

Beings are constantly reborn until they are no longer reborn. All I can conclude that this process is happening right now for me, until it doesn't.
Last edited by coconut on Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:24 am, edited 4 times in total.
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DooDoot
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by DooDoot »

Vinc wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:39 am When I attain enlightenment and then die, all what I am, all the 5 skandhas (even consciousness) cease to exist.
The "I" does not attain enlightenment. When the mind is enlightened, there is no "I am".
Vinc wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:39 amNirvana already exists now, even if I am unenlightened.
The point of Buddhism is to experience Nirvana.
Vinc wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:39 amSo what really is "won" by enlightenment is not Nirvana, because Nirvana already exists
No. The most beautiful girl in the world may exist but you don't win her until you win her heart & marry her.
Vinc wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:39 am but the eradication of myself, the extinction of a part of Samsara -> suffering.
The above is a wrong view caused by the hindrance of doubt (fear). The eradication of self is peaceful for a Noble One.
Vinc wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:39 am If Samsara has end
Samsara ends by ending self-view. Refer to SN 22.99.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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Bundokji
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by Bundokji »

Concepts such as "the end" or "infinite" play a role in the construction of worldly meaning. In the context of samsara, sarmsara is infinite as long as the ignorance element persists. Samsara has an end pending the remainderless cessation of ignorance. More generally, the logical necessity is better explained via negativa by acknowledging the two aspects of conditionality, the positive and the negative. Your statement "samsara must have an end" is acknowledging one side by ignoring the other.
This being, that is;
from the arising of this, that arises;
this not being, that is not;
from the cessation of this, that ceases.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
circuit
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by circuit »

Vinc wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:39 am
Because the Buddha clearly stresses the importance of pursuing enlightenment, my logical conclusion is: Samsara must have an end.
What do you say?
The Buddha teach us to be happy with real happiness, i.e. extinction of defilements. One of those defilements is the desire to "exist" .
BrokenBones
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by BrokenBones »

Sometimes, the best answer is not to ask the question in the first place.
coffeendonuts
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by coffeendonuts »

DooDoot wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:08 amWhen the mind is enlightened, there is no "I am".
What in the world is "the mind?" Don't regurgitate scripture. Explain in your own words. Specifically how this is different from "I am."
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Nicolas
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by Nicolas »

Uttiya Sutta (AN 10.95) wrote: “And, Master Gotama, when having directly known it, you teach the Dhamma to your disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of unbinding, will all the cosmos be led (to release), or a half of it, or a third?”
[...]
“Suppose that there were a royal frontier city with strong ramparts, strong walls & arches, and a single gate. In it would be a wise, competent, & intelligent gatekeeper to keep out those he didn’t know and to let in those he did. Walking along the path encircling the city, he wouldn’t see a crack or an opening in the walls big enough for even a cat to slip through. Although he wouldn’t know that ‘So-and-so many creatures enter or leave the city,’ he would know this: ‘Whatever large creatures enter or leave the city all enter or leave it through this gate.’

“In the same way, the Tathāgata does not endeavor to have all the cosmos or half of it or a third of it led (to release) by means of (his Dhamma). But he does know this: ‘All those who have been led, are being led, or will be led (to release) from the cosmos have done so, are doing so, or will do so after having abandoned the five hindrances—those defilements of awareness that weaken discernment—having well-established [‘well-tuned’] their minds in the four establishings of mindfulness, and having developed, as they have come to be, the seven factors for awakening.
Vinc
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by Vinc »

coconut wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:48 am Samsara is a closed cycle.
Do you get it? In an infinite time, an event should have already happened, but when the event is happening in the moment, how can that be in an infinite time?
coconut wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:48 am edit: to clarify

Time is two objects moving. Earth vs Moon = Month. Earth vs Sun = Day and Year

It's just two objects moving in space. If there was no earth or no sun, then there would still be movement (impermanence) but there would be no "time" to measure. Movement/change is real, time is not.
I agree with your definition of time. Time is change. Physically measurable time is the difference of change. When nothing changes, there is no time. If your experience of the present moment would not change at all, including your thoughts and everything, so in other words if the present moment would completely freeze, you couldn't say how long it would freeze. One moment? Eternity? It's impossible to say this because you don't have a reference point.

So Nirvana, which doesn't change at all, is timeless. Whereas Samsara, which changes, has time, or you could also say it is time itself.

But then how do you come to the conclusion that time is "infinite"? Maybe it (Samsara) just started to exist and will end again sometime.

And what do you mean by Samsara is a "closed cycle"? That would imply to me that all events repeat ech other for eternity, like in the "Eternal return" from Nietzsche. Then pursuing enlightenment wouln't make any sense at all, because there is no way out of it anyway.

Please understand why I attend to such "metaphysical/cosmological entanglements". I just think pursuing enlightenment should make sense. It has to, because otherwise why would the Buddha stress its importance? Can suffering (not only "my" suffering, beacuse "I" don't really exist in the first place, but suffering in general) can be ended permanently or not? If not, it doesn't make sense to me at all. I know that there are things my mind can't understand, but nevertheless I want to talk about it.
Vinc
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by Vinc »

DooDoot wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:08 am
Vinc wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:39 am When I attain enlightenment and then die, all what I am, all the 5 skandhas (even consciousness) cease to exist.
The "I" does not attain enlightenment. When the mind is enlightened, there is no "I am".
Vinc wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:39 amNirvana already exists now, even if I am unenlightened.
The point of Buddhism is to experience Nirvana.
Who or what does attain enlightenment then? What is mind? I agree, the point of Buddhism is to experience Nirvana. But who or what experiences Nirvana? To experience something, there has to be consciousness. But consciousness, as a skandha, ceases to exist after the death of an enlightened one. So is it only possible to experience Nirvana when one is enlightenend AND alive? Or does the experience of Nirvana goes on after the death of an enlightened being? Does the mind persist after death? Or is it Nirvana itself which gets enlightened? Before Enlightenment Nirvana = ignorant (what causes Samsara) and after enlightenment Nirvana = knowing? But then again, Nirvana is said to never change.
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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

Nicolas wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:06 pm
Uttiya Sutta (AN 10.95) wrote: “And, Master Gotama, when having directly known it, you teach the Dhamma to your disciples for the purification of beings, for the overcoming of sorrow & lamentation, for the disappearance of pain & distress, for the attainment of the right method, & for the realization of unbinding, will all the cosmos be led (to release), or a half of it, or a third?”
[...]
“Suppose that there were a royal frontier city with strong ramparts, strong walls & arches, and a single gate. In it would be a wise, competent, & intelligent gatekeeper to keep out those he didn’t know and to let in those he did. Walking along the path encircling the city, he wouldn’t see a crack or an opening in the walls big enough for even a cat to slip through. Although he wouldn’t know that ‘So-and-so many creatures enter or leave the city,’ he would know this: ‘Whatever large creatures enter or leave the city all enter or leave it through this gate.’

“In the same way, the Tathāgata does not endeavor to have all the cosmos or half of it or a third of it led (to release) by means of (his Dhamma). But he does know this: ‘All those who have been led, are being led, or will be led (to release) from the cosmos have done so, are doing so, or will do so after having abandoned the five hindrances—those defilements of awareness that weaken discernment—having well-established [‘well-tuned’] their minds in the four establishings of mindfulness, and having developed, as they have come to be, the seven factors for awakening.
:thanks:

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by Lucas Oliveira »

Saṁsāra

Saṁsāra literally means “wandering-on.” Many people think of it as the Buddhist name for the place where we currently live—the place we leave when we go to nibbāna. But in the early Buddhist texts, it’s the answer, not to the question , “Where are we?” but to the question, “What are we doing?” Instead of a place, it’s a process: the tendency to keep creating worlds and then moving into them. As one world falls apart, you create another one and go there. At the same time, you bump into other people who are creating their own worlds, too.

The play and creativity in the process can sometimes be enjoyable. In fact, it would be perfectly innocuous if it didn’t entail so much suffering. The worlds we create keep caving in and killing us. Moving into a new world requires effort: not only the pains and risks of taking birth, but also the hard knocks—mental and physical—that come from going through childhood into adulthood, over and over again. The Buddha once asked his monks, “Which do you think is greater: the water in the oceans or the tears you’ve shed while wandering on?” His answer: the tears. Think of that the next time you gaze at the ocean or play in its waves.

In addition to creating suffering for ourselves, the worlds we create feed off the worlds of others, just as theirs feed off ours. In some cases the feeding may be mutually enjoyable and beneficial, but even then the arrangement has to come to an end. More typically, it causes harm to at least one side of the relationship, often to both. When you think of all the suffering that goes into keeping just one person clothed, fed, sheltered, and healthy—the suffering both for those who have to pay for these requisites, as well as those who have to labor or die in their production—you see how exploitative even the most rudimentary process of world-building can be.

This is why the Buddha tried to find the way to stop saṁsāra-ing. Once he had found it, he encouraged others to follow it, too. Because saṁsāra-ing is something that each of us does, each of us has to stop it him or her self alone. If saṁsāra were a place, it might seem selfish for one person to look for an escape, leaving others behind. But when you realize that it’s a process, there’s nothing selfish about stopping it at all. It’s like giving up an addiction or an abusive habit. When you learn the skills needed to stop creating your own worlds of suffering, you can share those skills with others so that they can stop creating theirs. At the same time, you’ll never have to feed off the worlds of others, so to that extent you’re lightening their load as well.

It’s true that the Buddha likened the practice for stopping saṁsāra to the act of going from one place to another: from this side of a river to the further shore. But the passages where he makes this comparison often end with a paradox: the further shore has no “here,” no “there,” no “in between.” From that perspective, it’s obvious that saṁsāra’s parameters of space and time were not the pre-existing context in which we wandered. They were the result of our wandering.

For someone addicted to world-building, the lack of familiar parameters sounds unsettling. But if you’re tired of creating incessant, unnecessary suffering, you might want to give it a try. After all, you could always resume building if the lack of “here” or “there” turned out to be dull. But of those who have learned how to break the habit, no one has ever felt tempted to saṁsāra again.

https://www.dhammatalks.org/books/Karma ... n0008.html
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Vinc
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by Vinc »

This post is a mistake, may some admin please delete it (I can't).
Last edited by Vinc on Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Ceisiwr
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Re: Samsara must have an end?

Post by Ceisiwr »

Vinc wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 3:27 pm
But who or what experiences Nirvana?
By asking “who” you are assuming the existence of something that hasn’t been shown to exist.
"Because of attachment to doctrines one approaches and refutes,
For those unattached, how can they dispute?
Not because self or no-self are said to be true,
He has only shaken off all harmful views."


Duṭṭhaṭṭhaka Sutta
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