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How to test a philosophy (or religion) which claims to bring happiness (or peace)... and the philoso

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posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 12:33 AM
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If the teachings (philosophy/religion) are telling you that by following it, you will be fulfilled, it is important to see if the creator is living by it full of happiness (or peace). It is also important to see if the followers are full of happiness and peace, because its followers determines the success rate, and thus, the reliability of the teachings.


The root of suffering is feeling lack. The more things you want, the more unhappy you will feel. The less you want, the more satisfied you will feel. What was the life of the original creators of these teachings? We cannot know for sure, but we do know that there are some people today who live by these things with more happiness in their lives. In fact, there was a scientific study that shows that, those who live by appreciation, focusing more on the joy of what they have, rather than the passion of what they don't, are happier [1]. Where there was once feelings of wanting and lacking, slowly it became replaced by feelings of gratitude and therefore happiness increased.

In order to feel happy, you have to feel satisfied. You have to feel like you have everything you need and want in this moment, as there is more and more focus on what you 'have' and what is 'available to you', but less and less focus on what you 'lack', you will feel much more happier in life.

Regardless of what comes and leaves your life, if you feel that you have something, even if it is just the air that you breathe, the feelings of lack and dissatisfaction will be replaced by satisfaction in that moment. The more that you hold on to the thought that you have what you need in the moment, the more happier you will be.




posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 12:41 AM
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Happiness can be different things, such as peace, recognition of people, connection with your own Spirit, Higher Self and Family, upliftedness, its really being uplifted, having all this lower pain and slow thinking ability uplifted and suddenly your're free, often feeling connected to Family and encouragement like a river of love and joy and beauty flowing through you. Happiness is also Love, giving to others, even if you don't feel elevated always at the time. Its not just a perpetual up or high or good feeling. Sometimes its just doing the right thing and clearing out your own metaphoric closet so to speak.

Good thread by the way.
edit on 7-2-2014 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 12:43 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


I feel like I just read a public service announcement by a Buddhist Jehovah's witness


Not that most of it isn't the best of advice lol!

I am not sure the Kant-like test holds though... perhaps the followers are feigning happiness in order to support their cause... or even more oddly, maybe they are telling themselves they are happy, but really aren't at their core, in a sort of dissociative mental gymnastic, lol.

The ideas you have presented outside of that are sort of a mixture of Buddhism and Epicurianism, and I agree more or less full-stop.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 12:46 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


Indeed. The best way to be dissatisfied is to seek (want).
When it is realized that all you actually ever have is this present moment then it is foolish to want more. The wanting of more or better keeps contentment away.
The only thing worth seeking is the cessation of seeking.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 04:19 AM
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The best way is to study all religions and create cakes out of them. You go out searching for seeds and grow them into fruits and bake a cake. Once those of the faith who have recognized cakes (that is; they are delicious to anyone) recognizes your cake, you now it is done and you'll hear the oven timer going off.

Then you continue sampling each cake and compare tastes. In my case I continued and hypothesized an ET cake but ofcourse no one on the planet can recognize my cake although sometimes I doubt that. It tastes great, too bad I can't share it with anyone since those who did the same already have such a cake anyway, those who don't have an ET cake recipe have to go out there themselves since I wouldn't be ET to them. And I can't give directions either where I got it unless I would teach others and then it wouldn't be certain to where it leads to.
edit on 7-2-2014 by spiritspeak because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 05:40 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


I don't see philosophy/religion as being anywhere near the same. Sure there is philosophy in religion but in religion there is worship. Worship isn't necessary in philosophy. Philosophy can be about many things, but it doesn't always try to bring us closer.( We are all dust in the wind) It can give us perspective.

I don't know maybe I misread your intent but I was speaking to someone yesterday, and they were trying to equate the two which after some thought I informed them that the two are not the same so maybe that is stuck in my mind.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:43 AM
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What is the point of testing a philosophy or religion? To know which road is the shortest? What works for one, doesn't necessarily do it for another. When you arrive, if there is a destination, you will anyway throw away your scriptures or you have not arrived yet as the unfathomable cannot be put into words. Then there is the claim by many that all roads ultimately lead to the same destination.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 07:56 AM
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reply to post by Grimpachi
 



Grimpachi
reply to post by arpgme
 


I don't see philosophy/religion as being anywhere near the same...

I don't know maybe I misread your intent but I was speaking to someone yesterday,


Yup, you missed the point. I did not say philosophy and religion were the same.

reply to post by TatTvamAsi
 



TatTvamAsi
What is the point of testing a philosophy or religion?


If a religion or philosophy is promising fulfillment from following it, it makes sense to see if it is true.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 09:49 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 





The root of suffering is feeling lack. The more things you want, the more unhappy you will feel.


Without desire, people wouldn't get out of the bed in the morning. People have to want to get out of bed, want to clean themselves, want to treat themselves and others with respect. Wants are necessary, and to want the opposite of want is a contradiction. The less you want, the less you seek, and the closer you are to stagnation and death. There are addicts out there and they only want one thing—which is impressive according to your principle. They have no other wants.

It is a natural fact that people desire, want and seek. To preach the opposite is anti-natural.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 11:18 AM
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Aphorism
reply to post by arpgme
 





The root of suffering is feeling lack. The more things you want, the more unhappy you will feel.


Without desire, people wouldn't get out of the bed in the morning. People have to want to get out of bed, want to clean themselves, want to treat themselves and others with respect. Wants are necessary, and to want the opposite of want is a contradiction. The less you want, the less you seek, and the closer you are to stagnation and death. There are addicts out there and they only want one thing—which is impressive according to your principle. They have no other wants.

It is a natural fact that people desire, want and seek. To preach the opposite is anti-natural.


That raised a good many thoughts. :-)

First of all, I find your reply gloomy, almost suicidal. Why? Have you never experienced doing things out of goodness, beauty or just plain good old (divine) inspiration? You might argue that those would be traits to be desired to be had and then acting accordingly. Desire is of the ego, when the ego is gone, there is no desire. Yes, and it will seem for a moment like the death of you (in fact, just the ego), but the sane one will notice what is left over. It might not be much to build on if it happens to a man that has wronged many in his life. Nevertheless you will still exist, breath, feel and think, but not for the usual (habitual) reasons. A different agenda will start to slowly unfold if you are alert and willing to follow, for each according to their calling.

What you claim to be a natural fact, actually only the last attribute qualifies, seeking or maybe rather, curiosity. The other two, no. People are naturally curious, joyful and good-hearted. You say preaching the opposite is 'anti-natural', I say most human thinking is unnatural. Listening to people on the streets, in cafes etc. makes my heart bleed, few are those who understand their own being. Must agree with the OP. Wish you the best in life anyway, peace.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 11:37 AM
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Just as an intriguing thought, who would carry out such testing of philosophies and religions? Wouldn't the outcome depend on the testers personal qualities as there reputedly exist for instance three paths to salvation, the paths of devotion, action and wisdom? Isn't that also the reason why there are so many religions and philosophies? And the fact that they have one denominator in common, each of them is more or less inept at describing the unfathomable. :-D
edit on 7-2-2014 by TatTvamAsi because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 11:40 AM
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reply to post by arpgme
 


I basically agree with most of your post, though I could not help but think that your statement: 'The root of suffering is feeling lack.' is not quite in perspective. Personally, I think it may be more accurate to state: 'The root of suffering is fearing lack.' What do you think?



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 11:46 AM
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Here is the words of Hubert Selby the writer of 'Requiem for a Dream' and 'The Last Exit to Brooklyn'.



What we call success is all about getting, getting, getting. Getting money, prestige, feeding the ego. When we follow that path in life, we are really breaking down the gates of hell.
Quote from 'It/ll Be Better Tomorrow' - a portrait of Hubert Selby Jr.

It goes on to say:


We are taught in this country (America) to worship getting things. Selby tells you, the purpose of life is giving - we have the whole thing upside down.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 12:06 PM
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Meh, depends on whatever floats your boat.

Im thinking in some ancient scenario, Philosophy was the act of challenging their ways or their gods laws. You know the whole Eve biting the forbidden ed fruit example, and getting kicked out of the pent house. Which makes me believe the story is much older then the bible lets on, as well a popular in those times.

Philosophy is merely statements through centuries of observation of cause and effects.
"Those who live by the sword, die by the sword", which makes senses in own way, since violence begets violence. A never ending circle of what could be viewed as karma, positive or negative. When you look at the new testament standings, it just tell to give till your in heaven and love your worst enemy.

Ether that, or it real meaning was break your enemy, by showing mercy and letting live with shame. Or if they can't beat, let em join and be equals in some crazy parallel universe of eternal love.

Buddhism as well Taoism is a more popular religion since it teaches to let go of materialistic things that would end up cause strife, or negative perceptions of reality.

The difference between philosophy and religion is that, philosophy will accept that it standings are meaningless and pointless, whether they are wrong or right.

Religion is meaningless, and won't accept it at all.
edit on 7-2-2014 by Specimen because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 02:55 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 


Hi again Aphorism.

I think this case, like the last case we spoke about, is partially a semantic trap. The way I understand the concept being expressed here (buddhist doctrine of "dukha") is not easy to formulate into one word or phrase. For the sake of concision, it is sometimes translated as "want" or "desire", but I am not sure those words on their own express the fullness of the thought, nor are they precise enough. What I understand this doctrine to mean at its core is that it is good for humans to be free of unnecessary attachments to things they don't require, or which wouldn't benefit them or those around them. I can be sure that the Buddhist tradition doesn't mean what you suggest it means here insofar as it openly rejects asceticism. Starving or depriving the self or others, or denying basic needs is frowned upon openly in the founding sutras.

I don't think this doctrine is necessarily inassailable, but the first step in making a good refutation is in recognizing precisely what the position in question is.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by joeraynor
 





I can be sure that the Buddhist tradition doesn't mean what you suggest it means here insofar as it openly rejects asceticism. Starving or depriving the self or others, or denying basic needs is frowned upon openly in the founding sutras.


Yes. It's strange that the very paths Buddha himself took are frowned upon.

"Dukkha" for me is boredom.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 05:59 PM
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reply to post by TatTvamAsi
 



First of all, I find your reply gloomy, almost suicidal. Why?


Why do you find it gloomy? I can only guess, but I would wager because most people prefer lullabies to any observations regarding actual states of affairs. Truth can be painful if one is too weak to bear it.


Have you never experienced doing things out of goodness, beauty or just plain good old (divine) inspiration?


Yes I have.


You might argue that those would be traits to be desired to be had and then acting accordingly. Desire is of the ego, when the ego is gone, there is no desire. Yes, and it will seem for a moment like the death of you (in fact, just the ego), but the sane one will notice what is left over. It might not be much to build on if it happens to a man that has wronged many in his life. Nevertheless you will still exist, breath, feel and think, but not for the usual (habitual) reasons. A different agenda will start to slowly unfold if you are alert and willing to follow, for each according to their calling.


It is desire that makes one invent “the ego” so that he doesn’t have to take responsibility for his own actions. I don’t require anything called “ego” for a scapegoat. Why do you?

Can you not accept desire as you have accepted the other human qualities?


I say most human thinking is unnatural.


Then so is most breathing.



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 08:21 PM
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reply to post by Aphorism
 



Aphorism
reply to post by arpgme
 

Without desire, people wouldn't get out of the bed in the morning.


You assume that as fact without any evidence to back it up. When I get out of bed, it is because it feels natural, it's instinct, not because there is some feeling of lack in my body.


Aphorism
reply to post by arpgme
 

People have to want to get out of bed, want to clean themselves, want to treat themselves and others with respect.


There are people who do these things even when they don't really want to. So there goes that theory. You don't have to "want" to get out of bed, in order to get out of bed. It can just be instinct. No feeling of lacking is required.


Aphorism
reply to post by arpgme
 

Wants are necessary


Necessity depends on desire. You need to do something because you want something. For example, if you 'want' to browse the internet you will 'need' internet access.


Aphorism
reply to post by arpgme
 

to want the opposite of want is a contradiction.


I didn't suggest that anyone should 'want the opposite of want'. I simply said that the feeling of lack is what causing suffering and the more you want (feeling that lack and emptiness inside) is how worse you will feel.


Aphorism
reply to post by arpgme
 

The less you want, the less you seek, and the closer you are to stagnation and death.


Only if you define stagnation and death to mean "not seeking". To me, stagnation means 'not moving' and death means 'not living'. People are alive whether they live their life feeling a deep lack wanting something or not.


Aphorism
reply to post by arpgme
 

There are addicts out there and they only want one thing—which is impressive according to your principle. They have no other wants.


If they are addicted, they spend most of their time obsessing over it even while they don't have it. That's a long duration of feeling lack.
The original post was about feeling satisfied.


Aphorism
reply to post by arpgme
 

It is a natural fact that people desire, want and seek. To preach the opposite is anti-natural.


It is also natural to find the solution to suffering, and if you understood that the strong feelings of longing is what's creating the emptiness inside that's giving you mental suffering, then by identifying the problem you are already closer to the solution.

I am not speaking about preferences, nor am I speaking about simple motives that instinctively gets people to move around during the day in their daily tasks. I am speaking about the feeling of lack and longing, and it is in this context that I use the word "want" and "desire".



posted on Feb, 7 2014 @ 08:34 PM
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I have a sure fire test for all religions.

Wait until the Universe grinds to a halt and whichever is left standing get to watch the cheering section cheer "WE WON!"

Seriously, the Abrahamic and all others before will be on the same scrap heap when this Universe comes to a standstill.



posted on Feb, 8 2014 @ 04:47 PM
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reply to post by arpgme
 



You assume that as fact without any evidence to back it up. When I get out of bed, it is because it feels natural, it's instinct, not because there is some feeling of lack in my body.


Every motivation is instinctual, even desire. A "feeling of lack" is instinctual. Saying it isn't instinct is saying feelings arrive out of thin air.


There are people who do these things even when they don't really want to. So there goes that theory. You don't have to "want" to get out of bed, in order to get out of bed. It can just be instinct. No feeling of lacking is required.


Can you name one of these people? I don't want to pay my taxes, but I do. However it is because I want to stay out of trouble. Even the most selfless acts are selfish. So there goes that theory.


Necessity depends on desire. You need to do something because you want something. For example, if you 'want' to browse the internet you will 'need' internet access.


Do you need water because you want to quench your thirst? Or do you desire water because you need it? Desire depends on necessity. One only feels necessarily. He has no other choice.


I didn't suggest that anyone should 'want the opposite of want'. I simply said that the feeling of lack is what causing suffering and the more you want (feeling that lack and emptiness inside) is how worse you will feel.


I am guessing that one has a "feeling of lack" when one desires something he doesn't possess. He longs for it for however long he convinces himself that he needs it. This feeling, I would say, is a side effect, a form of suffering, and not a cause of it. All feelings are telling us something, not inflicting harm.



Only if you define stagnation and death to mean "not seeking". To me, stagnation means 'not moving' and death means 'not living'. People are alive whether they live their life feeling a deep lack wanting something or not.


I was using stagnation as a metaphor. By not seeking, I meant that one no longer has the desire to move, nor seek change, nor variety. He instead desires stagnation.


It is also natural to find the solution to suffering, and if you understood that the strong feelings of longing is what's creating the emptiness inside that's giving you mental suffering, then by identifying the problem you are already closer to the solution.

I am not speaking about preferences, nor am I speaking about simple motives that instinctively gets people to move around during the day in their daily tasks. I am speaking about the feeling of lack and longing, and it is in this context that I use the word "want" and "desire".


Feelings of longing or "lack" cannot cause suffering. Feelings of longing, just like feelings of boredom, pain, discomfort, dissatisfaction, are suffering itself, and not the causes of it. They are completely innocent. Suffering tells us something very important. To not want to suffer, is a desire for numbness.

I am playing devil's advocate here if you couldn't tell. I do agree with much of what you've written and I love the way you think.



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