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Re: realities--Mark H., CarolAnn

Posted by Rebecca on April 22, 2000, at 16:17:03

In reply to Re: realities , posted by Mark H. on April 21, 2000, at 18:24:52

Mark H., CarolAnn,

I'm not sure that the sort of trancendental experiences I've had would be of the Buddhist take on ultimate reality. I contemplated grad school in Buddhist Studies for a while in college, but spent the second half of my religion major concentrating more on dead white guys like Kierkegaard. You're in the Tibetan tradition, Mark H., right? I started taking a Himalayan Buddhism class, but ended up dropping it when I fell way behind as a result of spending far too much time on my senior thesis (which was on a couple of dead white guys). So I'm not so familiar with the Tibetan Buddhist take on things.

My own religious beliefs are pretty fuzzy (I certainly wouldn't claim them to be self-consistent)--religion was never brought up in my family; what I believe is based upon weird experiences I've had while depressed and my studies in college. It's really hard to describe said experiences after the fact. I can't entirely remember what I experienced (most recently last October); it's not like a dream, since the "me" dreaming is the same as the "me" awake--when I dream I know my thought processes and logic. But when I experience what I consider to be ultimate reality, ordinary logic fails. I thought that by killing myself I would be giving up the specious and temporal for the true eternal reality. Sort of a "shuffle off this mortal coil" kind of thing. Ordinary ethics wouldn't matter--Kierkegaard asked whether there is a teleological suspension of the ethical, and I must answer with a resounding "yes".

I thought that I was experiencing the ultimate truth and didn't want to return to the false world of appearances when the experience ended. But I didn't have a quick way to kill myself (and -- intentionally -- still don't), so nothing happened.

I don't know. There was a time in high school when I thought that I should kill myself for the sake of the higher order of the universe. I remember sitting in history class, trying to convince myself to kill myself, repeating over and over to myself that I was an awful person and didn't deserve to live. Not exactly what the mental health folks would consider healthy behavior. though proof of the power of hours and hours of repetition.

I wrote the above this morning... today I'm having problems with external reality--if I just relax and go with the flow, it's ok and I can deal with my surroundings and their existence. but it's all to easy to find it all very unreal and disturbing and too much stimulation and feel a need to lie down somewhere quiet and close my eyes and be alone and pretend that nothing outside of my head exists.

I think all I've done is muddy the waters in this post.




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