KeithBC wrote: The search for beginnings is futile if there are none.
All things must have a beginning, at least on this plane of existence.
Suppose you were successful in determining an initial cause for your suffering, say something that happened 10 million years ago, what would that knowledge gain you?
I suppose it would allow me to definitively identify "that things" mode of influence. If "that thing" has been identified and I can now begin to recognize it's every nuance, its every means of influence; I can come to understand its purpose. I suppose it may be similar to taking a look in the mirror for the first time and actually seeing what is there? Or maybe a blind man who has miraculously had his vision restored and he can finally see reality for what it is rather than plodding around continually in the dark.
The cause has happened; the effect - your suffering - is therefore inevitable.
Okay, but in the Buddhist view, there is a disconnect is there not? Because one does not know or consider a cause therefore one must, it would seem, blindly accept what is believed to be effects - I think I'm understanding you alright. To recap then, it is a needless concern to contemplate the origins or cause of suffering because knowledge of the cause does not affect the results. This does seem to make sense. Now if I could only forget that there is a cause.
That knowledge has just bought you the additional suffering of knowing that you're hooped. On the other hand, if you treat your suffering as being something that is caused within yourself, you carry the cause within you, which means that you have the potential to do something about it.
Is this the same as eliminating the effects of the cause? Yet if those effects are still found outside myself, in others, then i've really only eliminated a small part of the problem
I'm sorry I over-analyze things. I get what you mean.
Buddhism is as much about cause and effect as it is about suffering. When a cause occurs, its effect is inevitable. Many religions rely on magic: a cause occurs, but you can somehow evade the effect. Buddhism is not that way. If the cause happens, its effect is inescapable. Therefore, to eliminate the effect, you must prevent the cause.
If I only prevent the cause which eliminates the effects in myself does not the cause still exist outside myself? I suppose then this leads to teaching others right?
If suffering were something that was caused by an ancient event, such as, in Christianity, Adam's eating the forbidden fruit, then our suffering is inescapable. Christianity solves the problem with magic: believe in Jesus and you can escape the consequences. Buddhism say that wasn't the cause in the first place. Your actions were the cause. The effects caused by your past actions may be inescapable, but you can choose your actions now to avoid similar effects in the future.
Om mani padme hum
Yes, there does seem to be an awful lot of magical thinking in Christianity, that was one of the turn offs for me yet it would seem i'm still corrupted, i ate the dang fruit.
Well thank you Keith for your helpful words. I have what i need to think on for a while. I will probably visit other threads and see what it is all about.
Thank you again.