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  • hardie karges 10:49 am on October 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , upadana   

    Buddhist Non-attachment and Free Will 

    You can be connected to everything and attached to nothing. That is the Holy Grail, for me, at least, of life in general, and Buddhism in particular. Because, despite the apparent similarities, the difference between the two activities is craving, upadana in Pali/Sanskrit, and that is the deal-killer, as articulated in the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths, number two, to be exact. Visually, imagine making contact, but without a hook that attaches you to that other surface.

    Now isn’t that preferable? Because without that hook, then you are free. And with freedom comes responsibilities. But with that hook, then you are enslaved. And when you are enslaved, not only have you lost your precious freedom, but you have lost your moral responsibility. Because if there is no free will, then there is no morality.

    So, the metaphysicians can argue all they want about the existence, or not, of free will, using arguments based on reason and logic, but the proof depends on the necessity—or not—of morality. Because free will can never be proven empirically, since it’s an abstract concept, and thus not subject to the demands of reason nor logic. But it is subject to the demands of morality. Ontologically, there is no absolute free will, though a limited one, subject to circumstances. This world is our circumstance. It demands morality.

     
  • hardie karges 9:15 am on May 19, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , nidana, upadana   

    Buddhism, Attachment, Life and Freedom… 

    To be connected but not attached is the trick, ties that bind loosely. And this is a tricky spot for Buddhism, particularly with regard to the doctrine of Dependent Arising (or Origination) which provides a systematic formulation of the notion that, for lack of a better quick saying, “we are all connected.” But the ninth ‘link’ (nidana) of that system specifically forbids attachment (upadana) to such phenomena as ‘sensual pleasures, mistaken views, external forms, material pleasure/comfort, routines, persons, appearances, ego and…an individual self.’ (buddhajourney.net) Yeow, that’s a heavy load of attachment to avoid! But that tricky spot is also a sweet spot, because what is important is not checking off all the boxes of non-attachment, as if they were things, but to have goals and directions, arrows and road maps to show us a path where such things are easy to talk about, but not so easy to follow. Life is a balancing act, between attachment and freedom, abundance and lack, safety and risk, certainty and chance…

     
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