“i think therefore i am”hardly takes into account the thoughts that make up the person.
Schopenauer wrote on pessimism in an age, for most, of pessimism, where humanity subsisted in the drudgery of life.With a pessimistic outlook…people were elated by the simplest and smallest of positive things that happened.Optimism was met with the same old familiar drudgery…so pessimisn…expecting the worst, was the datum of life at that time.
Today in a positive environment there’s no room for pessimism,after all ,the world is our oyster,so we’re told and yet the smallest of negative things that happen throw people back to being pessimistic unless they are happy with who they are inside.
So,no matter what environment you are in,a happy individual can handle the positive and negative aspects of life in stride and remain happy because ultimately it’s what’s within the individual that decides how we react to anything.
In a balanced individual,a happy individual,one that likes and loves themselves the way they are,happy in their imperfection the pendulum of life oscillates gently from positive to negative and they experience the highs and lows of life optimistically.
So…in answer to your question…people experience the world according to the weighting of their accumulated thoughts.Remove thought and you flatline…know what i mean!!!…egad i’m long winded today!!! at 2004-01-08 15:00:57
mathninja said: re: zen buddhism
I don’t know if zen is the same as kadampa buddhism, to which I proscribe at the moment, but…
My teacher says that it’s not about ‘not getting upset’ or about ‘not getting excited’ - it’s about recognising the fact that the experiences that one has in this life are illusionary - that our living life is suffering. Only by understanding the differences between LIFE and the MIND can one recognize that our experiences are neither a route to, or a blockade from, happiness. at 2004-01-08 19:48:17
beige said: For my two cents:
cent 1) I wouldn’t describe the desired (ha!) end of Zen buddhism to be a ‘flatline’ of emotion at all. Rather, I think it’s about idling at somewhere approximating a universal perspective on the world. I don’t think strong emotions need be resisted exactly - I just feel that they will de facto become somewhat irrelevant when operating from a Zen perspective. Step back from your body, your city, your time… and take a good hard look at the vastness of time and existence, then think about your infintessimally small place in it. You’re born for maybe a trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a universal second, and that’s it, as far as your fifteen seconds of fame goes. It’s pretty hard to work up a lot of indignation about anything from that perspective. Still, pancakes are good. Bacon tastes good. Therein lies the secret of it all.
Zen is definitely a tradeoff between strong emotion and happiness. My own cent #2 is that it’s better to live a life idling in a warm, generalized contentment than it is to oscillate wildly between doubleHappy and doubleSad. Desire and Regret are two faces of the same poisoned coin and you don’t want to spend either in large amounts.
Because we are human we needn’t worry about losing our emotions entirely any more than we need to obsess about them. Our minds have enough of a buffer on them that they will keep going back to the would-haves and could-haves on their own without our needing to culture them. If something makes you cry during a movie, so be it… Live the experience and then move on. Analyzing the rhyme or reason is counterproductive to happiness. What I’m saying is that if you find it happening all the time (or vice versa, getting really excited all the time over the possibilities of the Future), you are going to live a life full of dissappointment.
Pancakes taste good, and syrup is easily had. Mmmm pancakes.
at 2004-01-08 21:37:49
derek said: Incidentally, my whole dilemma about the ‘flatline’ thing was a result of something beige said years ago… at least, that’s how i remembered it, which doesn’t mean it’s accurate. And the reason i mentioned it at all is that I’ve been a lot more emotional lately, which is great. In the last few years I’ve noticed that my emotions were pretty flat, and that movies didn’t really affect me very much anymore, whereas they previously had. Well, now they do again, so that’s great, and I’m not worried about it. This morning I ate a pretzel. Mmmmmmmmmm, pretzel. I’m not content to ‘be idle’ though. I want to get more involved in the activist community in Toronto when I get back. IMHO activists are the best citizens. PS—thanks for all the comments. This is the most a single post has ever gotten. Wow! at 2004-01-09 10:05:17