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wonderful world 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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Prometheus 2

Prometheus

Who was responsible for bring fire to mankind, who was chained to the top of a mountain and had his liver devoured by an eagle every night? The answer: Prometheus.  This god was part of a mighty group of gods called Titans. The poet Hesoid described Prometheus as a trickster, and a troublemaker. Aeschylus described Prometheus as a “tragic hero”. Many plays have been written about Prometheus, including “Prometheus”.
Prometheus was a cunning, intelligent being. During the war of the Titans, he advised them to use strategy, instead of just going out and having a massive bloodbath.
(Encyclopedia Americana, 577) Beethoven, Wolfgang Von Goethe, Percy Bysshe, and Bach all created works inspired by the myths of Prometheus. Prometheus had no Roman name, only a Greek name, Prometheus. (Graves, 185) He was one of the few gods that only had a Greek name. No one knows why he only had a Greek name, we can only guess.
His father, Iapetus was also a mighty Titan, one of the first Titans. His mother, Clymene, was a beautiful nymph from the deep trenches of the oceans of the world. (Hodge, 352) The story of his birth is rather sketchy, most books just outline the story of Iapetus and Clymene being madly in love with each other, and having a son, and naming him Prometheus. He had a brother who was named Atlas. (Encyclopedia Americana, 576) (Picture taken from Microsoft Encarta, 1998)
Prometheus isn’t really in charge of anything, except bringing fire to mankind and creation on man. When responsibilities were handed out, Prometheus was left out, possibly because he was a Titan, no one really knows.)
Prometheus is recognized by his nudity, the stalk of fennel that he carried fire to mankind in, and the crown of sticks and leaves that sits atop his head. (Tripp, 439)
A giant, roaring fire symbolizes Prometheus, most people understand why, and that is because he gave the gift of fire to mankind.
Prometheus has few unique characteristics. He isn’t a massive beast, he doesn’t have magical powers, and he doesn’t have huge, rippling muscles. He does, on the other hand, have an immortal liver. In a certain Greek Myth, Prometheus stole fire from the hearth of the gods, the gods became angry, especially Zeus. (World Book Encyclopedia, 567) Zeus ordered Prometheus chained to the top of a huge mountain as punishment for stealing fire from the hearth of the gods. During his imprisonment atop the mountain, he was tortured daily by either a vulture, or eagle. (Academic American Encyclopedia, 743)  the vulture or eagle would tear out his liver, and devour it, again, and again, and again. Each night, after enduring the great pain, Prometheus’ liver would grow back, in the exact same place in his body ready for the next day’s punishment. It is odd, that being a god, that is his only unique characteristic. (Picture taken from Microsoft Encarta, 1998)
There are a lot of Greek myths about the great Titan Prometheus. One of which is about how he stole fire from the hearth of the gods, and gave it as a gift to mankind.
Zeus was angry with the humans, and as a punishment, denied them fire. He then took the fire, that was meant for the humans, and placed it in the hearth of the gods, so he and all the other gods could keep warm. Prometheus sympathized with the humans. During the night, while all the gods were asleep, Prometheus made his way around the slumbering Zeus. He then made his way to the hearth of the gods, and grabbed the fire. Being a god, he was not harmed by the fire. He pulled out the stock of a fennel, that he had prepared earlier and put the fire in it. He made his way past Zeus, and all the other sleeping gods. Prometheus ran out into the night. He walked all night, and at the break of dawn, finally reached earth. He came upon a group of humans preparing the mornings meal. He handed the stalk of fennel to the eldest of the group and told him what it was, and how to use it. Prometheus began the long ... more

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