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Why must someone strive for something which is everlasting, e.g. Nirvana? It is unfortunate if everything is impermanent but I think this is a mistake, a false conclusion, that you shouldn't be attached to anything which is impermanent. It is not 100% awful if everything is fleeting. One doesnt need to cling to a belief that there is something which lasts forever. Did anyone come to the idea that everyone cling to the buddha and the idea of liberation?

Well now one could argue that you can enjoy something which is impermanent and not get attached to it, but that is never really mentioned in the suttas.. it's not about enjoying but always to renounce. Now, I thing that it's not good to base one's goal PRIMARLY to self oriented ones, i.e. only achieving enlightenment. I know that this is not a good motivation and that one rather focus on others or on much measureable goals like.. meditating twice per day or showing forgiveness or to apologize for one's wrongdoings.. Agreed on that? I think you all do but still the main goal in Buddhism is to escape Samsara and the cycle(s) of rebirth. Which leads to my second question:

Does one practise metta just for the sake to cleanse one's karma, for the wish that the other escapes samsara (which is ok if one literally - and not metaphorically - believes in it) and to not being reborn in this - im sorry - "mess" yet again?

I think, it is better to stick to an agnostic "i don't know" attitude concerning rebirth, samsara, nirvana or rather reinterprates them than to greedily chase for liberation which is just another craving and could foster laziness, selfishness and everything which is contrary to the teachings.

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You don't have to believe anything because when one practices "seeing things as they are", that is how one knows "what is" beyond any belief.

One who lives by the Dhamma does not merely study it but practices it. If one just studies the Dhamma then one will be likely to cultivate many wrong views and unnecessarily over think and contemplate the Dhamma for themselves.

People who only study the words of the Dhamma are not experiencing "what is", they are reading about what is.

One contemplates impermanence not by reading about impermanence or intellectually pondering impermanence. One contemplates impermanence by experiencing the impermanence of experiential phenomena, moment by moment. This is directly seeing what is without a concept or judgement modification.

It is good to stick to an agnostic "i don't know" attitude concerning rebirth, samsara, nirvana if one truly doesn't know. It's not necessary to chase after liberation because all we need to do is "see things as they are" and "accept what is". Liberation could be like a nice side effect.

Hope this helps :) Metta

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It is unfortunate if everything is impermanent but I think this is a mistake, a false conclusion, that you shouldn't be attached to anything which is impermanent. It is not 100% awful if everything is fleeting.

That sankharas are impermanent seems to be an observable fact as well as theoretically plausible.

Whether that seems "unfortunate" is more debatable. (reference)

Also FWIW I think that the Buddha defined "unfortunate" (in the first and second noble truths) without mentioning "impermanence".

Does one practise metta just for the sake to cleanse one's karma, for the wish that the other escapes samsara (which is ok if one literally - and not metaphorically - believes in it) and to not being reborn in this - im sorry - "mess" yet again?

I think it's better for everyone, isn't it -- better for you, for me, for everyone else -- if for example I have metta towards you than if I were to hold ill-will. And better now, not just in the future.

There's the eightfold way, which starts with right view (i.e. wisdom). And there's the three-fold training, which starts with virtue and ends with wisdom. It's a bit like a chain, you can see how it works by examining it from-front-to-back or from-back-to-front ... it seems to me that metta is associated with virtue and wisdom, i.e. it's "right" and "wise".

But I think it's practical. There are many articles written about the brahmaviharas, for example:

These four attitudes are said to be excellent or sublime because they are the right or ideal way of conduct towards living beings (sattesu samma patipatti). They provide, in fact, the answer to all situations arising from social contact.

That article says quite a lot while hardly ever mentioning karma and samsara.

I think, it is better to stick to an agnostic "i don't know" attitude concerning rebirth, samsara, nirvana or rather reinterprates them than to greedily chase for liberation which is just another craving and could foster laziness, selfishness and everything which is contrary to the teachings.

I mentioned it in a previous answer yesterday, but in case you didn't catch it there, I think the idea of "greedily chase for liberation which is just another craving" might be addressed in this sutta: Brahmana Sutta (SN 51.15).

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Why must someone strive for something which is everlasting, e.g. Nirvana?

Very good observation and good question. The answer is: you don't have to! There is no "must".

But some people want to! Some people want to find everlasting ease and peace. They are tired of troubles and don't want to hear about any solution that is only temporary and after some time the troubles will re-appear. They want to stop all future troubles once and forever. They keep suffering that life never gives them a break - and they want to find a permanent solution.

Other people suffer for a different reason. They don't worry that things are impermanent, but it really bothers them that everything is wrong and fake. They very much want to find a way of existence that is perfect and real.

Yet other people suffer because they feel they are not free. They feel that their life is constricted by all these externally imposed limits, and that they don't really live, they just tolerate and wait - all their lives. So they want to find freedom.

These things really bother some people. If you don't have a problem with freedom, you can ask someone who has it: "but aren't you already free? aren't you already doing what you want?" - and he will look at you like you're crazy. Same with perfection, some people don't think this world is wrong. Some people actually think this world is totally alright the way it is, with all its trouble and absurdity - they find this imperfection gives them many possibilities to use their skills and take advantage of situations. Finally, there are people who are Okay with impermanence. They just don't expect permanence. In fact, I knew people who were glad to finally die, because by their age they were actually getting tired of living.

And yet there are many people who are really bothered by these kinds of things. In fact, Buddha was one of them before he "awakened" and "saw" how things work.

What Buddha found is that it's all in our mind, it's all about what we're paying attention to. If we have an idea stuck in our head that "things should be this way", and we keep obsessing over the thought that "things are not this way" - we can drive ourselves mad and suffer endlessly.

But it's not enough to just close one's eyes and pretend that you don't see all the issues. That's not the real solution. The real solution, as Buddha realized, was to look inside the issues, and realize that the issues themselves are mind-made illusions. In order to see that, one must understand how conceptual mind works, how it creates these illusions. (This is called "wisdom".) Once you understand how mind works, you no longer attach to any of mind's creations, you don't take any of them too seriously. (This is called "dispassion".) Since you no longer attach to mind's creations, concepts, positions, you are never in conflict with how things are - so you never suffer. (This is called "cessation".) This state is unconditional and "everlasting" in the sense that no matter how things change, no matter what happens, nothing is ever "an issue". You don't need anything to be a certain way anymore, everything is always perfect just as it is. (This is called "suchness".) And because you're now free from attachments, positions, desires, and fears; free from all boundaries I say - this is called "liberation".

Now, I think that it's not good to base one's goal PRIMARILY to self oriented ones, i.e. only achieving enlightenment. I know that this is not a good motivation and that one rather focus on others or on much more measurable goals like.. meditating twice per day or showing forgiveness or to apologize for one's wrongdoings.. Agreed on that? I think you all do but still the main goal in Buddhism is to escape Samsara and the cycle(s) of rebirth.

This idea of "escape" is based on aversion to this world, and on a rather painful attachment to a vague idea of some imaginary state when everything is perfect, forever. That's not what Buddhism is actually about, however. In fact, that idea of escape is exactly the samsaric thinking. Instead, the Buddhist way to escape Samsara is to transform one's mind and see everything as Nirvana, see everything as Great Perfection.

Which leads to my second question:

Does one practice metta just for the sake to cleanse one's karma, for the wish that the other escapes samsara (which is ok if one literally - and not metaphorically - believes in it) and to not be reborn in this - I'm sorry - "mess" yet again?

Like everything in Buddhism, metta is an interesting trick. The kind of people who seriously seek Enlightenment or Nirvana, are the people who usually have strong aversion to this world. This is true by definition, because aversion to this world is what made them seek Nirvana in the first place. So in one sense this aversion is good, because it kept them away from cycling in samsara while playing games and shedding tears, blood, and breast milk. But because they have such a strong aversion to this world, they can't achieve peace of suchness so now it becomes obstacle! To solve this problem Buddha came up with the Four Brahma Abodes, which are the four attitudes that help one get closer to suchness of Nirvana. But because regular world of normal people is based on the same underlying principles as Dharma (conflict is bad, peace is good, in both World and Dharma - because such is the nature of mind!), this attitude of metta also has a nice effect in the world, by reducing conflict and making people happier with each other.

I think, it is better to stick to an agnostic "i don't know" attitude concerning rebirth, samsara, nirvana or rather reinterpret them [as metaphors] than to greedily chase liberation which is just another craving and could foster laziness, selfishness and everything which is contrary to the teachings.

I totally agree with you here. There is a saying in Buddhism (paraphrasing): "Dharma must be practiced according to Dharma. When Dharma is practiced not by Dharma, it becomes anti-dharma". So, absolutely, craving for Nirvana, studying texts, trying to be pure and perfect, considering oneself spiritually superior to others, rejecting all the worldly stuff - can make one a horrible person and lead to a lot of suffering for oneself and others.

Dharma is subtle enough that it is but too easy to get confused and make it into an even larger problem than we had in Samsara to begin with. Which is why new schools were born, starting as far back as 200CE if not earlier - because advanced Buddhists who saw widespread confusion with dharma in their own communities kept looking for new and creative ways to teach real dharma without falling in the same old pitfalls. Hence the birth of Mahayana, Ch'an, East Mountain School, Soto Zen, Tantra, Madhyamaka, Mahamudra, and modern innovations of Buddhadasa, Thích Nhất Hạnh, and Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche.

All of this is to say that your concerns and doubts are not new. Discussing what's wrong with samsara that needs fixing; problems with attachment to idea of liberation; selfish vs. altruistic motivation; getting lost in overthinking etc. - all these topics were part of Buddhism for 2600+ years - and luckily for us most of these questions already have answers.

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Well now one could argue that you can enjoy something which is impermanent and not get attached to it, but that is never really mentioned in the suttas.. it's not about enjoying but always to renounce.

It is impossible. Because every enjoying in impermanent stuff is attachment.


There is nothing permanent, if the electron still go around the nucleus and the proton&neutron still require that electron. Because electron are impermanent and what depending on the impermanent stuff, it is impermanent as well.

So, if you try to risk yourself by your wrong logic, it's fine. But the imprudent attitude can't change the buddhist prudent attitude. We don't want to risk with you. We want the peace, the permanent, the stable, and real happiness without any risk/posibile suffering/possible problem anyway.


You inclined to be capitalism, materialism, eternalism, and annihilationism, which all were called micchā-diṭṭhi.

So, when someone has micchā-diṭṭhi, misunderstanding the causes and effects, it means that one has sakkāyadiṭṭhi, sīlabataparāmāsa, and vicikicchā.

Therefore, one can doubt, vicikicchā, in the result of wholesome action, then act the illegal or immoralness, sīlabataparāmāsa.

That sīlabataparāmāsa is a very risk to cause the very painful feeling, such as the rob who killed by the law or the stuff owner. It is not just the rob's painful, it is his family painful as well.

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One does not take on something if really knowing that it is no refuge does not make sense at all and guards no security, but because being usually see permanent and satisfaction in what is pointless and not of lasting and viz. defilents are capable to argue even on a total ignorant level yet not seen.

In times when people are cheated to have even much controll over things it's even more difficult to face the truths of aging, sickness and death and waste precious life and possibilities, not easy to gain away.

It's wiser to Affirming the Truths of the Heart and put all effort into striving after something that makes sense rather to be just another "functioning" fool feeding for the sake of being food for illusions.

Yet of course it up to the individual to strive for wise ways and really nobody could urge others to see and fear realities and make use of seldom possibilities to escape.

At least ones ideas and current statisfactions with ideas are not for sure: watch out of how much suffering it will cause when the idea construction starts to decay or to further maintain it's existence.

[Note: This is a gift of Dhamma, given for release, not meant for commercial use or other lower wordily gains by ways of exchange or trade.]

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