Posted by Shane (22.214.171.124) on August 22, 2000 at 08:32:52:
In Reply to: Thank you Shane and Michael! posted by Mangalananda on August 20, 2000 at 23:27:41:
As far as metaphysical speculation goes, yes, you are precisely right. Shakyamuni Buddha generally discouraged his followers from devoting much time and effort on pondering such questions as did time ever have a beginning, or what encited the perpetual cycle of samsara. You are also correct in identifying the justification for this train of thought, as being that pondering on such, is not a beneficial way or method of liberating oneself and all other living beings.
I think that Buddha here is making a sort of pragmatic statement. Really he is implying that we should concentrate our attention on the moment of the present and therefore develop means to build a more just and happy society for all in the future, and then ultimately reach liberation and a cessation of suffering with the final release of nirvana. Such metaphysical speculation I believe, Buddha would accusse of diverting our attention for the aforementioned, that which is our genuine purpose in human life.
I hope this more directly and sufficiently answers your question. I've really enjoyed the dialogue by the way. I find it very enjoyable and enlightening. Take care.
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