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Re: Rebecca 4/22/00

Posted by Mark H. on April 25, 2000, at 18:49:57

In reply to Re: realities--Mark H., CarolAnn , posted by Rebecca on April 22, 2000, at 16:17:03

Dear Rebecca,

Yes, I'm a Vajrayana Buddhist of the Nyingma school of Tibetan Buddhism. I'm not a very good Buddhist, however, and hopefully no one will judge the value of the path based on my poor example. (You may think that's ritual humility or sarcasm, but it's just the truth.)

I asked my lama about you last Saturday during an all-day class, because I feel like I'm the LEAST qualified person on this forum to respond to you -- your ideas and excuses, your logic and misapplication of philosophy, your desire just to lie down and drift indefinitely, all sound so much like what I experience, think and feel, that I'm afraid I will unconsciously encourage your negativity. I'm too much like you to be of much help. But I'm compelled to answer -- I think you know why.

My lama said: "Dying hasn't worked so far, has it? You're still here. You're still suffering. A glimpse is wonderful -- it can be motivating. But it should motivate you to practice, not to kill yourself. Through practice, those glimpses come again, and you begin to understand that the 'pure land' is here, all around you, not somewhere where you don't have a body. At the moment of death, whatever habits of mind you have developed (consciously or unconsciously, negative or positive) will propel you into the quality and circumstances of your next birth. Killing yourself just sets you back immeasurably, and who knows how long it will be before you have the opportunity even to glimpse the larger truth once again?"

Rebecca, the problem with being so smart is that there is no one to talk you out of your logical delusions. Who can argue with the internalized Kierkegaard and Kant? My IQ is half yours -- why would you even entertain the thought that a middle-aged depressive paper-shuffler could have anything of value to add to your understanding of depression and suicide?

I vote for the part of you who knows better than to buy a gun, who knows that even a brilliant, incredibly rare person such as yourself is subject to the simple Pavlovian influence of your high school self-hatred, who when she is feeling well again (and she will feel well again!) will find a way to integrate and weave her glimpses of ultimate reality into a reason to live, and to teach others to live, fully.

With appreciation,

Mark H.




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