1. Discuss each of the alleged sources of suffering. Explain how each one is "aflame" with passion. Is it correct?
2. Explain how this leads to disenchantment.
3. Explain how this might lead to release from suffering.
Questions on the Heart Sutra:
1. Explain in your own way why you think that the "western" non-Buddhist approach to looking at the world might indeed use language to break apart the otherwise unified world. Does this suggest that Buddhism is in some sense correct?
2. If "everything is one" then in what sense is there "no eye, no ear...?" 3. In what way must this entire commentary be missing the point?
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Suffering takes eight forms in the fire sutra. In no particular order, these are miseries, grief, despairs, lamentations, sorrows, aging, birth and death. One concentration is on the idea that the human mind is responsible for much of the suffering we endure. This occurs through ignorance, laziness, and a never ending desire to gain more things.
Birth and death are not thought of as a beginning and an end. Instead, they are considered to be part of an endless cycle that allows suffering to continue and permeate throughout the world. While aging certainly provides a transition from birth to death, it does not do anything to relieve suffering along the way. These three things are unchangeable, but the world itself is impermanent. This means that everything created by man will eventually come to an end, or evolve sufficiently that it can be considered a new or different creation (rise and fall of governments, religions, countries, etc.).
Miseries, grief, despairs, lamentations and sorrows are all the result of passion. To see this, consider that the mind is always searching for something better. Once a goal is reached, another more desirable goal is found. While there may be temporary pleasure in reaching the original goal, it now reverts back to suffering in that a better goal is in sight but not in possession. Only by denying these passions can one become free of suffering....