Author Topic: Do you agree with Thoreau?  (Read 24120 times)

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Do you agree with Thoreau?
« Reply #30 on: December 21, 2006, 02:34:22 pm »
She is quite a wise woman!

I am reading a book called The Celtic Book of Living and Dying, which has a relevant story in it. The young hunter Peredur came upon an extraordinary tree one day--one side was leafy and green, while the other side was engulfed in flames. He reflected upon the tree's symbolism. Nearby was a man who showed Peredur three roads: one led to a quiet night's sleep, the second to a feast, and the third to a fearsome monster. Peredur chose the third road.
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Re: Do you agree with Thoreau?
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2007, 07:44:03 pm »
This just in:

Happy people are healthier, according to Scientific American

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=000B8074-2527-1264-980683414B7F0000
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Offline ifyoucantfixit

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Re: Do you agree with Thoreau?
« Reply #32 on: February 13, 2007, 11:38:07 pm »

  I do think that most people lead lives of quiet desperation.  They live a
life in fits and jerks.  It has some good parts, and some not so good.
We can only hope to have the joyful times at least equal the sorrowful.
We know that no one can hope to be happy all the time.  Also have to
understand that we should not have to endure constant pain. 
  I wish everyone health and joy and pain, in fair measure...

                                                          janice



     Beautiful mind

Offline David In Indy

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Re: Do you agree with Thoreau?
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2007, 11:52:49 pm »
I'm not the most philosophical person in the world (I'm not even sure if I can spell it) but I think most people have ups and downs in their lives, just like Ennis and Jack.
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moremojo

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Re: Do you agree with Thoreau?
« Reply #34 on: February 14, 2007, 12:50:59 pm »
I still side with the view that most people have their ups and downs, but I have this suspicion that I can't quite shake that it would be better to never have existed in the first place--the painful moments can be so agonizing, and I'm not sure that the happy or pleasant episodes balance them out enough. One joyous moment can dispel all this, of course, only to return when the happiness has dissipated.

We are, as far as we know, the only animals conscious of our own mortality. That seems like such a cruel burden to bear.

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Re: Do you agree with Thoreau?
« Reply #35 on: February 14, 2007, 12:57:47 pm »
 :'( :'( FRiend, I'm not going to disagree with you. Sh*t, that's hard.

Maybe that's why we venerate the place where we can live like the animals, unaware of our own mortality:

Quote
There were only the two of them on the mountain flying in the euphoric, bitter air, looking down on the hawk's back and the crawling lights of vehicles on the plain below, suspended above ordinary affairs and distant from tame ranch dogs barking in the dark hours.

This is almost a Buddhist thought, where we can be freed from suffering by letting go of desires for earthly things, love, happiness, health, and all of that that separates us from the animals...

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moremojo

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Re: Do you agree with Thoreau?
« Reply #36 on: February 14, 2007, 01:18:03 pm »
Yes, the Buddha taught that desire is the root of all suffering. By this train of thought, Ennis and Jack suffered out of their love for one another--and yet that is precisely what gave their lives (and their story) meaning. It really is such a dilemma.

Abhinavagupta taught that all experience is willed into being by the Divine Self--we actively create all our existence, but our conscious mind has been sent into forgetfulness so as not to impede the play (the literal translation of the Sanskrit lila). Here, suffering and pleasure, and everything in between, is part of a grand cosmic ritual wherein God experiences God, through us. Nothing is out of place, and everything is holy. Whenever we think differently, we are letting the illusion veil our view.

There is some kind of austere comfort to be gleaned by both these approaches. Lucretius, the poet of the De rerum natura, has also been cited as a guide in "austere compassion" in suggesting how his fellow humans approach their suffering and eventual death.

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Re: Do you agree with Thoreau?
« Reply #37 on: February 14, 2007, 04:23:58 pm »
That is really beautiful and inspiring...

Don't you just love Buddhism? It gives you the key to free yourself from all crippling desire for material things and experiences...but if you want to f**k your way to paradise, that's okay too!!

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Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: Do you agree with Thoreau?
« Reply #38 on: April 04, 2007, 11:28:26 pm »
When I compare my life to that of the previous generation, I am glad that I disregarded the advice of my mother and went my own stubborn way. I've enjoyed, if not happiness exactly, a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. But most of the radical decisions I've made were early in adulthood, and then I became a stander, waiting out any intolerable situations until they finally changed for the better.

What I would like to experience more of is not happiness per se, but a sense of bliss. Happiness to me means contentment, but bliss is more akin to joy. More bliss in my life is what I aspire to, and I think I know how I can get it. The times in my past when I've truly known bliss have been when I connected on a very deep level with another person. I've known it with my son and daughter, with my partner, teachers, and friends. And the more you experience, the more you want to experience.

« Last Edit: April 07, 2007, 06:14:22 pm by Front-Ranger »
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Re: Do you agree with Thoreau?
« Reply #39 on: May 01, 2008, 10:30:53 am »
Jack was happy on Brokeback Mountain and he knew it. Late in his life he said, "I did once" meaning that he had a better idea about him and Ennis prolonging their happiness and living a sweet life. But Ennis, even though he was so happy he felt he could paw the white out of the moon, didn't believe he deserved the happiness and impulsively rejected it. Later, he realized what he was missing, and wrote "You bet" to Jack, paving the way for the reunion. Then he slipslid back into self-denial and punishment, which meant Jack had to be dragged into it as well. Jack went to his grave believing that Ennis would wise up and embrace happiness. Ennis was only able to achieve that release in his dreams, to the end of his life.

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