[extropy-chat] Psychological stress/Suffering

citta437 at aol.com citta437 at aol.com
Sun Mar 4 01:55:47 UTC 2007

-----Original Message-----
From: citta437 at aol.com
To: extropy-chat at lists.exptropy.org
Sent: Sat, 3 Mar 2007 7:49 PM
Subject: Psychological stress/Suffering

 Hi, thanks for welcoming me to the list. 
  Jef wrote: "I would like to ask your opinion on the issue of universal 
 with regard to extropic thinking: 
 In my opinion, the Buddhist concept of the universal suffering of all 
 sentient entities is useful, but it is a concept framed within a 
 traditional paradigm of scarcity, and as such it is seen to offer 
 escape from an unpleasant state of being." 
  My comment: The emphasis of seeing reality as it really is without 
judgemental attitude of a self is not an escape but a challenge to open 
one's mind to the real cause of suffering which is desire arising from 
thoughts of self as independent from the forces of nature. 
  Jef: "However, upon gaining an aware acceptance of self as/within 
 one finds that there is no objective suffering, nor is there any 
 objective self who can suffer. From this perspective of aware 
 acceptance, one can choose most freely." 
  My comment: There is a saying in Zen that "to study the mind{self }is 
to forget the self and to forget the self is to be enlightened by a 
thousand things in dharma including the reality of suffering which can 
be overcomed with no attachment to thoughts/desires/beliefs. The 
historical Buddha emphasized critical thinking in line with the 
teaching of impermanence, suffering and no self. 
   Jef: "I am aware of course of the Zen Buddhist warrior, at peace 
within his 
 fighting art, but I don't see this as an exception. Again the 
 implicit aim is one of harmonious flow, rather than intentional 
  Awareness as a practice of meditation comes naturally as thoughts are 
released without strain or strife. It comes and goes as the movement of 
the mind is a form of kinetic energy. There is no permanent self 
abiding inside the brain but an imprint of memory and language. 
  Jef: " II would suggest that this traditional Buddhist conception is 
 within a world-view that did not include today's knowledge of adaptive 
 dynamical systems nor the dynamics of co-evolutionary ecologies." 
  In the contrary, the practice of Zen is a dynamic process aligned with 
today's psychological therapeutic system of treating delusions and 
illusions of reality. 
  Jef: "In contrast, extropian thinking recognizes that striving for 
 growth is essential and intrinsic to survival of any entity in the 
 bigger picture." 
  To me extropian thinking is a natural outgrowth of an evolving and 
developing brain. A well developed brain needs a healthy lifestyle and 
a healthy nurturing environment which is essential for growth. 
  Jef: "Now one could easily respond that striving for growth may 
certainly be 
 conducted with a zen-mind, and I would agree, but would refer back to 
 my point that this would be commonly seen as an exception rather than 
 a preferred new "standard" among most Buddhists. " 
   I don't know what you mean by "new standard" among most Buddhists. 
Perhaps this book "Thoughts Without a Thinker" by Mark Epstein, a 
practicing Buddhist and psychiatrist would help. Below is an excerpt or 
an overview: 
  "Epstein explains the unique psychological contributions of the 
teachings of Buddhism, describes the path of meditation in contemporary 
psychological language, and lays the groundwork for a 
meditation-inspired psychotherapy. Part I of the book is an orientation 
to the Buddhist perspective. Dispelling misconceptions common even 
among those already practicing meditative techniques, this section 
presents the Buddha's psychological teachings in the language of 
Western psychodynamics. Part II explains the meditative practices of 
bare attention, concentration, mindfulness, and analytic inquiry, and 
shows how they speak to issues at the forefront of psychological 

  AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free 
from AOL at AOL.com. 

AOL now offers free email to everyone.  Find out more about what's free 
from AOL at AOL.com.

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list