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Religion and Spirituality, Science and Philosophy Use this forum to discuss what you believe in. This is a place where everyone may share their views freely.

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Skyline Offline
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Name: Skye
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Question Do you believe in enlightenment? - September 13th 2014, 08:11 AM

Hi everyone
Me and my dad were talking on the way home, about life and what's beyond and all those vast questions... and then we came to "do you believe in enlightenment, and if you do, what do you believe it really is...?"

I personally believe that yes, one can be enlightened. I myself have kind of experienced the beginning of enlightenment... usually I feel it after I've had a moment of stress (exams, friends, boyfriends, general problems) and I'll just kind of sit down and realize that 'hey, none of this actually matters.... it's just a game - life's just a game - and if I want to stop playing it I can, but I might as well try and score as many points as I can, just for the fun of it...

I know this might seem slightly crazy to some of you, but that's what I believe: us, the human species, were "programmed" in some way (through genetics, through the creation of life itself or, who knows, through god) to play this game where we basically live, do our best to keep living and almost to do it blindly... like we were programmed to think, to ask ourselves questions such as "what is the universe? What's beyond life? What's before life? What is intelligence?" when in fact, all of that is part of the game of life. I believe that enlightenment is realizing that all of that is just a game, and that's the beauty of it: if you realize that you're losing in the game, you can simply choose to not play it. However, the best thing to do is to try to score as many points as you can because it's fun.

Okay, so that's my rather weird point of view... what's yours?

"You shall love your crooked neighbour / with your crooked heart."
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gdheiwmow Offline
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Re: Do you believe in enlightenment? - September 13th 2014, 09:24 AM

That's just the thing, though. Sure, you may not want to believe it, but there really is no meaning in life. You can stick around and find things you enjoy, but at the end of the day, your life is nothing special. You're just one organism among countless that ever existed, or ever will exist. Nothing you do will ever have a lasting effect on the world, and in time you will turn to dust and be forgotten just like the people that lived before you.

Then again, this is a viewpoint that is hard for many people to embrace. It's easy to say stressful or bad situations don't matter in the long run, but many would be reluctant to say the good times also never matter. While I am not an expert on the subject, I believe a rejection of that statement would imply attachment. For one to reach nirvana, they must be able to deny pleasure, as it is one of the key problems which lead to suffering.

I believe it's our deviation from nature that leads us to seek meaning in life. Biologically, all we really care about is survival. If you add society to the mix, you get all sorts of conflicts and philosophies and people become unhappy once introduced to these ideas. Then that all ties up into existentialism and enlightenment.

As for my own beliefs, I agree that it does exist, but I am not so foolish to say that I have achieved it. I prefer to term myself apathetic, as I am more of a hedonist and see no need to abandon the few pleasurable memories I hold onto, no matter how detached I am otherwise. But then again, some of my viewpoints aren't far off from Mahayana Buddhism. It's a bit of a gray area for me.
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