Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Thread: Is there Heaven and Hell ?

  1. #1

    Is there Heaven and Hell ?

    Ajahn Brahm asks: "Is there Heaven and Hell? " (approx.6 minutes)





    Any thoughts?

  2. #2
    Forums Member justusryans's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Buckingham, Virginia
    Posts
    366
    Yes, I totally agree with Ajahn Brahm in that we totally make up our own heaven and hell. As he says “the gates of hell are always open, you just have to want to get out”.
    The same with heaven...it is what you want to make it.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    560
    He's a funny guy with a great message. Many people at the Buddhist centre found the part of the Metta Bhavana aimed at themselves difficult. They really felt that they couldn't forgive themselves for all the stuff they had done and continued to live in their own little hell. I have family who are CBT professionals and they deal with this all the time, so it's an important aspect of the path.

    In terms of other people making our world heaven or hell I like the Hakuin story when a samurai asked a question about it:

    “I want to know about heaven and hell,” said the samurai. “Do they really exist?” he asked Hakuin.

    Hakuin looked at the soldier and asked, “Who are you?”

    “I am a samurai,” announced the proud warrior.

    “Ha!” exclaimed Hakuin. “What makes you think you can understand such insightful things? You are merely a callous, brutish soldier! Go away and do not waste my time with your foolish questions,” Hakuin said, waving his hand to drive away the samurai.

    The enraged samurai couldn’t take Hakuin’s insults. He drew his sword, readied for the kill, when Hakuin calmly retorted, “This is hell.”

    The soldier was taken aback. His face softened. Humbled by the wisdom of Hakuin, he put away his sword and bowed before the Zen Master.

    “And this is heaven,” Hakuin stated, just as calmly.

  4. #4
    Forums Member Cyril's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    FRANCE
    Posts
    26
    Hi,

    According to Sartre "L'enfer c'est les autres" : " Hell is other people".

    But according to Paul Valéry, "Un homme seul est toujours en mauvaise compagnie" : " A man on his own is always in bad company".

    We could add : if this man is not in peace with himself.

    Cyril

  5. #5
    Forums Member Cyril's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    FRANCE
    Posts
    26
    Quote from Chamfort (Maximes, Pensées, 1796) :

    Je mettrais volontiers sur la porte du Paradis le vers que le Dante a mis sur celle de l’Enfer : « Vous qui entrez ici , abandonnez toute espérance ».
    L’espérance n’est qu’un charlatan qui nous trompe sans cesse. Et pour moi, le bonheur n’a commencé que lorsque je l’ai eu perdue.

    I would put on the gate of Heaven the verse Dante put on the gate of Hell : « You who enter here, give up all hope ».
    Hope is only a conman who ceaselessly cheats us. For me, happiness has begun when I lost it.

  6. #6
    Forums Member Cyril's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    FRANCE
    Posts
    26
    Ajahn Brahm said in this talk « You make your heaven, you construct it ».

    Voltaire (18th century) wrote : « J’ai décidé d’être heureux, parce que c’est bon pour la santé » ; « I’ve decided to be happy, because it’s good for health ».

  7. #7
    In his excellent book "Direct Realisation," (Volume 3 of his 5 volume Anthology) in the interview section : "Literalism Metaphor and Mystery, "(page 207), Ajahn Sumedho, the former abbot of Amaravati Monastery, says the following:


    The cosmology of Buddhism however, from the highest heaven to the lowest hell, is simply a metaphor for the whole realm of human experience, from the most refined state of consciousness, which is neither perception nor non-perception, to the lowest form of misery, unmitigated pain and anguish which is the deepest hell. Though we may experience these extremes, most of our lives are lived in between that.

    https://cdn.amaravati.org/wp-content...ealization.pdf


    https://www.amaravati.org/dhamma-boo...t-realization/
    .

  8. #8
    Forums Member Cyril's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    FRANCE
    Posts
    26
    Ajahn Brahm in The Art of Disappearing (2011)

    « There’s no heaven realm where you can live happily ever after. If you think about it, you’ll realize that such a heaven realm cannot exist. Take the most delicious food, or even the best of sex : if you indulge in it all the time, after a while you get bored. It’s just the same thing again and again.You can’t have only pleasure all the time, because any pleasure is dependent on what came before it. Pleasure is just the pause between two occasions of suffering. (...) In other words, there can never be any complete and final satisfaction in this world. »

  9. #9
    Forums Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    560
    It's partly a human thing to want to not be suffering and partly a social thing where society defines happiness. As biological creatures we are programmed to shy away from physical suffering and to seek to be healthy, sheltered and fed. We are repulsed by others who show signs of disease as a natural consequence of survival strategies over millennia, but backed by social rules and mores. Which brings me to mental suffering, the kind we work on in Buddhism.

    Mental suffering is just that, a product of the mind. We can change our relationship with such things, just as we can change our relationship with the pain from an injury or, in my case, the tinnitus I hear continuously. Unfortunately it isn't an easy thing to do. We can accept it intellectually, but have to work at it over a number of years for it to have an effect, sitting on the mat until we know it as an indivisible part of what makes us, us. Regain hope all ye who enter here, suffering is not inevitable. Which has to be quite satisfying?

  10. #10
    Forums Member Cyril's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2020
    Location
    FRANCE
    Posts
    26
    Thank you Philg for your great and personal contribution.
    With respect,
    Cyril

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Los Angeles Mexico City London Colombo Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Wed, 7:43 AM Wed, 9:43 AM Wed, 3:43 PM Wed, 8:13 PM Wed, 10:43 PM Thu, 12:43 AM