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virtues Buddhism And Death

Does Anything Survive Death? The Buddha, already enlightened and therefore
having reached the state of Nirvana, taught and explained many concepts and
principles to his students. He was released from the life cycle, which every
individual should seek to escape. He said that in order to be released from the
torture of reincarnation, one must cease to desire, for it is the failure to
fulfill ones desires that causes ones misery. He also explained that
possessions and material things are all a delusion. Since people are not born
with belongings and do not die with them, they are not really belongings, but
only burdens. Even the body itself is not owned by the mind inhabiting it,
because it dies and decomposes as the soul goes on. The body could be looked at
as the prison of illness, because there is a very fine line between health and
sickness. The mind however is eternal, with thoughts and feelings. In modern
society, the mind is not developed; it is polluted and requires training. Once
one attains control of the mind, one also attains control of the body and
speech. Then, the truth will become apparent. What becomes apparent is ones
true essence. Ones true essence is Buddha: everyone has the potential to
become Buddha. In the present state of ignorance, however, people have developed
a false sense of self. According to the teachings of the Buddha, the idea of
self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it
produces harmful thoughts of me and mine, selfish desire, craving,
attachment, pride, egoism, and other defilements, impurities, and
problems(Seven Dilemmas in World Religion) It is these unconscious
assumptions and false information about reality that cause people to become
selfish and self centered, therefore neglecting the fact that all people are
actually pure energy and pure awareness. People need to realize that they are
living in a state of constant mental evolution and should focus on achieving
egolessness. With the withdrawal from the normal concerns of worldly existence
and the elimination of I comes enlightenment, which is the ultimate goal
of every Buddhist. Buddhists believe there is no life and no death, however,
there is duality. When the body dies, the mind goes on. Consciousness, which is
always enlightenment, also survives the physical death. Everything is an
illusion and is going to disappear, whereas impermanence is reality. Ones
true identity is Buddha. Buddha is a state of mind that has no obscuration of
the truth. Buddhists tend to visualize the process of reincarnation, or the
life cycle itself as either a river or an ocean of birth and death. This river
is the unexplored aspect of life, which needs to be crossed in order to reach
the incomparably wonderful(The Hungry Tigress) enlightenment. The Buddha
is the vehicle by which this river is crossed. It transports one from dukkha, or
suffering to the other side endowed with hundreds of virtues, full of such
qualities as trance and wisdom, immaculate, free from all substrata, changeless
and without sorrow.(The Hungry Tigress) Since Buddhism stemmed from
Hinduism, the beliefs of the two religions concerning the cycle of life and
death are very similar. Hindus also look at the cycle of samsara as a river.
Hindus believe that when one reaches the river, one admits that there are some
things that are not yet understood. In contrast, a Buddhist says, we dare to
go where others do not go, upon reaching the river. Buddhists believe that it
is where people are afraid to go, is what suffering comes from. People are the
cause of their own suffering; however, they can control and manipulate their
karma. Hindus, on the other hand, accept karma as a given. Since it is both good
and bad karma that determines the quality of the next incarnation, this is an
important difference in the two belief systems. However, both Buddhists and
Hindus agree on the belief that the last thought at the moment of death
determines the character of the next incarnation. Buddhists and Hindus agree
that individuals who have lived virtuous lives will achieve Nirvana and
individuals who have developed a karmic pull will be drawn again to rebirth. An
opposite perspective on life and death can be found in Christianity as in most
other western religions. The belief in God as a creator and maintainer of human
life does not allow for reincarnation. Since God is also a judge, He is the one
who looks at ones good and bad deeds and judges accordingly. With the
possibility of ... more

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Hamlet And Ophelia

The character Ophelia in William Shakespeares play Hamlet plays a very
interesting and important role in the elaboration of the plot. In the beginning,
she starts off in a healthy state of mind, in love with her boyfriend Hamlet,
yet controlled by her father in regard to their relationship. During the play
she encounters several troubling experiences involving Hamlet which cause her to
become distressed. Near the end, the death of her father leaves Ophelia mentally
unstable and in a state of madness that eventually leads her to death. So, due
to all of the unfortunate events that took place with the people she loved the
most in her life, Ophelia gradually becomes mad, and in the end passes away.
Ophelias and Hamlets love for each other in the beginning was very real.
Following the death of his father Hamlet falls in love with her, and is much
attracted by her beauty. It is not uncertain, however, that Ophelia is very much
controlled by her father. She is the daughter of Polonius, the chief advisor to
the new King Claudius, and a highly respected man. Her father demands that she
tell Hamlet at once that she can no longer be with him and tells her "I
would not, in plain terms, from this time forth have you so slander any moment
leisure as to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet. Look tot, I charge
you. Come your ways." (I.iii.132-35). It is clear that here Polonius is
making decisions for his daughter, regardless if she really loves Hamlet or not.
She feels very unimportant and helpless now, and because of this develops a lack
of emotional confidence and strength. All she can reply is "I do not, my
lord, what I should think." (I.iii.104). She is used to relying on her
fathers direction and has been brought up to be very obedient. As well, her
brother Laertes agrees with what their father is saying. He also tells Ophelia
that Hamlet is no good for her "Perhaps he loves you not" (I.iii.16).
He thinks that Hamlet only loves her because he wants to seduce her, and demands
his sister to never see him again. Ophelia can only accept her father and
brothers beliefs and writes Hamlet a letter which informs him that she can no
longer see him. As a result, she begins to feel alone with very little
independence. At this point in the play Ophelias emotions are what help
contribute to her madness. There are a few other incidents in the play which
help in the course of Ophelias madness. When Hamlet receives the letter from
Ophelia he is affected terribly by her words. The next time she sees Hamlet she
is surprised and even a bit frightened by his behavior. He did not look like he
usually does, and he acted very strange towards her. He held her by the wrists
and stared deeply into her face, long and hard, then storms out, leaving her
intensely troubled and saddened. After that she tells her father, and he
believes that Ophelias love is what made him mad. "That hath made him
mad" (II. i.110). Polonius then goes to tell the King and Queen of
Hamlets strange behavior and plans to spy on Hamlet to prove hes gone mad.
Ophelia now is left feeling guilty. When she sees Hamlet later on she tries to
speak with him, but is rejected coldly. He does not listen to her and screams
harsh words leaving her feeling worthless and embarrassed. "I loved you
not." (III.i.119). "Get thee to a nunnery." (III.i.121) "
you jig, you amble, and you lisp, and nickname Gods creatures, and make you
wantonnes your ignorance. Go to, Ill no more ont;" (III.i.146-48)
This incident causes Ophelia to become slightly disturbed. She sits weeping
while her father and the King practically step on her weak body to find out more
reason for Hamlets actions. In this depressed state all she can say is
"O! woe is me, to have seen what I have seen, what I see!"
(III.i.163-64) So, because of Hamlets rudeness and rejection through this
part of the play, Ophelia is driven even more closer to insanity. Perhaps the
biggest cause of Ophelias madness was the death of her father. The news of
Polonius death was just enough to throw her over the edge of insanity.
Whats worse, she finds out that her dearest father was murdered by the one
she loves, Hamlet. Ophelia now goes completely mad and has lost ... more

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