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I read the following comment on the internet (reference):

By existing you are attached to this reality. If I die then I won't exist according to Buddhism. Therefore I won't be attached to reality. How then does killing yourself not free yourself from attachment? How can I possibly be attached to reality if I am dead? How was the Buddha free from attachment if he wrote a book and made a religion? That means that he was attached to reality. You can only be not attached to reality if you don't exist.

Is the existence of life a form of attachment?

Is the teaching of the Dhamma (of non-attachment) a form of attachment?

  • may be that folk is some kind a (so called)radical free thinker, so just ignore it. – PL_Pathum Aug 31 '18 at 4:36
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If I die then I won't exist according to Buddhism.

The above statement is wrong. Whether Tathagata exists or not after death or Nirvana is not declared by Buddha.

Is the existence of life a form of attachment?

Existence of life is conditional. One of the conditions is attachment. Therefore it is wrong to say that existence of life is form of condition. It doesnt make sense. For example seed is the condition for the existence of plant but water and earth are conditions for its existence and growth. It doesnt mean that seed is a form of earth or water.

Is the teaching of the Dhamma (of non-attachment) a form of attachment?

Teaching of Dhamma is a form of attachment which encourages you to be unattached to any kind of Dhamma. Teaching of Dhamma is a wholesome attachment. Teaching of Dhamma is like a medicine which is necessary for the sick.

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By existing you are attached to this reality.

There are many logical fallacies in this comment. By existing, you are not attached to this reality, the reality of existence precedes your being here, you get emerged into this reality of existence, so you are simply here, not as an attachment but as a part of that very existence.

If I die then I won't exist according to Buddhism.

This is also wrong if you die according to Buddhism you will be reborn.

How then does killing yourself not free yourself from attachment?

Killing your self you are getting reborn in lower realms and nothing to do with attachment. The attachment might come later in that lower rebirth which will further the suffering.

How can I possibly be attached to reality if I am dead?

You were not attached to 'reality' even when you were alive, you were attached to things which were giving you pleasure.

How was the Buddha free from attachment if he wrote a book and made a religion?

He didn't.

That means that he was attached to reality. You can only be not attached to reality if you don't exist.

The only way you not exist is through Nibbana.

Following answers are for an instructed questioner.

Is the existence of life a form of attachment?

The existence of life is not a form of attachment, but as long as you are alive you can be attached to life. Mere existence is not an attachment. Attachment is a potential, it's not a manifestation of sheer existence. You get attached, the attachment is not a part of five aggregates. Attachment does not make a life.

Is the teaching of the Dhamma (of non-attachment) a form of attachment?

The teaching of Dhamma is not a form of attachment but there is a real possibility that you can get attached to becoming a teacher by developing an ego of a teacher. Again it lies as a potential.

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By existing you are

It seems to me a confused statement -- given that it's full of assertions like "you are", "I die", "I won't be" and so on.

How can I possibly be attached to reality if I am dead?

I suppose it's "attachment" -- attachment to the aggregates, specifically -- that gives rise to this view, i.e. the OP is saying:

  • I am this body (or these aggregates)
  • I die when the aggregates dissolve
  • Then I will be no longer attached

How was the Buddha free from attachment if he wrote a book and made a religion?

That's different meanings of the word "attachment", possibly -- I think that, in Buddhist terms, attachment is used in two ways:

  • Attachment to the aggregates as a self-view
  • Attachment to objects of desire

I guess the OP is arguing that the Buddha was attached to (not free of attachment to):

  • Pride?
  • The Dhamma (or, views)?
  • The world?

Anyway, to answer the question, we're given to understand that the Buddha was free of sensual cravings, for example -- even free of tendencies towards sensual desire, let along actual attachment. And pride too, perhaps evidenced e.g. by being able to respond to insult with SN 7.2.

You might perhaps (rightly) describe him as "attached" to the Buddha-Dhamma, attached to a view (right view) -- to the view (or doctrine) of "suffering and cessation", or something like that.

Alternativey you might want to call that "wisdom" rather than "attachment" -- also, "compassion" (towards those who benefit from his teaching the Dharma he discovered) -- and I'm not sure even that is a fixed view (or an "attachment" to a view) given e.g. the "Dhamma as a raft" simile.

You can only be not attached to reality if you don't exist.

To be honest I don't see "not being attached to reality" as a virtue -- I think people may suffer and cause suffering when they're not attached to reality.

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By existing you are attached to this reality. If I die then I won't exist according to Buddhism.

Not entirely true, existence of consciousness only ends, but energy preserves in the universe. "You" will exist in another form as a cause that will yield an effect within cycles of dependent origination.

Therefore I won't be attached to reality. How then does killing yourself not free yourself from attachment?

This very wish is attachment to concept of reality, existence and ending existence. Therefore, it is existence and non-existence, but both are duality - both create extremes in behaviour. If it wasn't true, result would be truly no action. Absence of attachment to concepts of existence and non-existence can neither be classified as ecstatic drive nor aversion towards life. Ultimately, identifying with neither should not produce any intent to cut-off, nor forcefully preserve anything.

How can I possibly be attached to reality if I am dead? How was the Buddha free from attachment if he wrote a book and made a religion? That means that he was attached to reality. You can only be not attached to reality if you don't exist.

And how can you be possibly attached to reality if you are alive? Ask yourself this question. Dead, alive are a kinds of bi-polarity, but they don't convey anything real. Existence doesn't automatically imply a concept of life within the framework of clinging, but rather, the mind itself does it. Plants don't have clinging to existence. If mind does it all, the mind can undo it, and reverse.


Is the teaching of the Dhamma (of non-attachment) a form of attachment?

Refraining from definitive statements - in my opinion it might be, depending on practitioner's attitude. And it might be a several obscuration in achieving peace. Calm, balanced and composed mind is the answer, whereas obsessions are an attachment, a hinderance. Non-grasping and non-aversion is non-attachment and that is what I understand by Right effort. In Right effort there is hidden Buddhism without attachments, a pure land of bliss.

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