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Paragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 10:47 AM
Original message
What are your attachments?
Attachment is the cause of all suffering, sez the Buddha. While I'm not a practicing Buddha myself, I've read quite a bit on it and it is fascinating.

These would be people, places, things, opinions, beliefs, or ideas -- good OR bad -- that you're holding on a little too tightly to.

Some of mine:
my media collections (books, CDs, DVDs)
my family
the belief that Republicans are lesser lifeforms
white-hot hatred and disgust of the pResident
my ex-girlfriend
my computer & its high-speed connection
my self-concept
Eliza Dushku
caffeine & cigarettes

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enki23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
1. laziness would hardly be an attachment
if i were a buddhist guru (i'm not) i would teach that laziness is the surest path to enlightenment. laziness doesn't exactly come about through an excess of caring too much about things. ;-)
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Paragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 10:51 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Oh, no?
Try to stop being lazy. You'll find you're quite attached to the concept. ;-)
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RoonShark Donating Member (139 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
3. Cigarette Addiction is Pathological
You really should quit smoking. It's bad for your health, it's expensive, and it negatively impacts your attractiveness. You aren't attached to smoking; you have a pathological craving for cigarettes.
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soleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 11:44 AM
Response to Original message
4. I dont think attachment causes suffering
I think attachments are, as are addicitons, a defense against fear of death. It's fear of death that I think is the underlying root to all suffering.

The reason I think is because many attachments and addictions have a high mortality risk - and the only reason I can grasp to do something that might actually kill you is because the alternative is a greater fear that something will kill you.

An example - a person might climb a tree to avoid attack of a wild animal - and though the risk of starving to death is great, they will remain in the tree rather than risk being killed by the tiger.

Many of the anxieties that drive us to seek out distractions in reality are not immediate threats, but unconsciously they may tap into a primal fear for our very survival.

And while I think Buddhism has many great spiritual teachings, I don't think it's solved that particular dilemma of being human. Of being what the author "Denial of Death" terms a cross between God and worm food.

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jobycom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Oct-07-03 12:23 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Fear of death = attachment to life
Attachments aren't talking about addictions or physical necessities, it refers to your desire to have something in your life. Life itself, for instance, or wealth, or a pareticular person. It is both fear of losing that and reality of losing it which creates suffering.

And it isn't so much the thing you must get rid of as the attachment to it. You can have wealth without feeling an attachment to it, so that if you lose it, you will feel no pain at the loss.

The one place I don't entirely agree with that aspect of Buddhism is concerning people. Attachment to loved ones is the strongest of all attachments, but giving that up weakens the social aspect of humanity. It may be better for an individual to feel that they can lose a loved one without suffering, but it weakens the love, and to my mind it is love which elevates us from individual to collective humanity. Love is the divinity that all religions try to find. But with Buddhism, sometimes it seems that the only love they recognize is love of self, though in a spiritual and not material sense. It's a way to live, but I'm not sure it's the best. But it does help relieve suffering.

My own attachments are my children. I think I can lose anything else without much suffering, but not them. I'm not sure I will exist if they don't. And I'm not sure that's a complete negative. It makes me protective of them, it gives me something I value more than myself, so that I can truly understand that I am not the only aspect of the universe, and it teaches me to understand that there is a greater good than myself. But it also means that if something happens to them, I will suffer greatly, or else I will die, and the latter would cause suffering to others and would mean that I haven't placed humanity above myself. Which creates an enigma, since both my attachment to my children and a detachment from them could cause me to be more selfish and less a part of humanity.

Man, it's a slow day at work. I wonder if my boss knows he pays me for this.
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