Non-becoming Hell!

The other day my friend made a comment saying that, “non-becoming” or – getting to a point where one no longer is bound by desires, sounds hellish and terrible. He said that it’s a place where one is no longer even human. This is like the “Joseph Campbell view” of the goal of eastern religious practice, that it aspires to disappear into nothingness and bleakness. That instead we have some kind of divine being or presence, that our desires and emotional wants are our own and are worth treasuring. (Don’t mind me putting words in JC’s mouth)

It’s hard to give up sex, because it’s a major impulse. It’s the desire. It’s the cup of life, you might say. It gets me going, but I feel pretty lousy after it.* It’s the same way I feel about drugs, actually. I like them and it, but my brain gets all foggy afterwards. Once in a while I can handle it, but too many times and my mind just slumps and goes dark. And when the mind is dark, it attaches to things that appear in it. Emotions, thoughts, situations, they all become far too potent and influential upon the individual. One then becomes an easily manipulated specimen — a demographic of interest in the web of the illusionist.

People are too interested in pursuing themselves. Of course, I’m all about pushing myself to the limit too, exploring my potentials. But a lot of people are just interested in the difference between them and all other things. They spend their lives analyzing and obsessing over just that — the inherent differences that exist between them and all else in this existence made of dualities. They’re the scientists of the spiritual world – trying to push everything they perceive into a categorization and thus robbing such things of their potency.

But back to non-becoming: it is simply undefinable within conditioned reality. I can’t even say it’s better than conditioned reality, because it’s just unconditioned. It’s a constant blank slate of opportunity. Beings can exist without taking form, without attaching themselves to thought patterns or desires. I do get confused when people are uninterested by this simply because everything conditioned seems so inherently boring and unsatisfying! The only way it could appear to be satisfying would be if one actually was enthused and excited by the idea of a self separate from other things. Except, oh snap! that describes everybody.

It is interesting that, although Buddhism has precepts about sex for monks and laypeople, in Asian societies like China and Japan, sex doesn’t carry such a stigma. People didn’t fall from Eden due to original sin and sex doesn’t carry a notion of guilt with its practice. You know, the whole shame versus guilt argument (I’m hoping other people have heard this and I didn’t make it up). Sex just gets in the way of social commitments sometimes. I have a theory that this is because Indo-Chinese societies are based upon deep commitments coming from traditional social hierarchies. In China and Japan, these relationships stem from Confucian ideals, which are rooted indirectly in morality, and are social obligations that keep society functioning smoothly.

Ah, hence my friend’s insistence that Confucianism is merely party-line propaganda. Fair enough, I suppose. I’ve heard the same things said of the Dao de Jing.

______

* Depends on whether it’s your “soul-mate” or not

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