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Last Midterm Notes

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University of Toronto St. George
Dan Dolderman

East vs. West Myths are metaphors such that they dont search for meaning (help me find something to believe) but experience of meaning (help me find myself, so I can experience both myself and the world Myths: internal struggle people undertake to understand themselves o Finding ones real self o Path of a hero take courageous parts of yourself and battle other parts of yourself o vs. Fairytales fairytales are imaginary and gratify wishes personal gratification; escape from frustration and conflict (subjective function) fairytales have no relation to each other myth is a recognition of natural conflicts, serious representation of fundamental truths (moral orientation, not escape) myths form cycles myths are stories about ourselves same material, but different uses, and different beneficiaries Oedipus: o Oracle : Tell the future by looking at the present. The aggressive nature of the king will be reflected in his son. o Fate: predeterminism o Sphinx: the part of ourselves that we dont understand; your intellectual capacities mean nothing arrogant become blinder to that aspect o Oedipus defeating the sphinx: Arrogance and aggression from father reflected in son. o Blindness: lack of understanding of the qualities that brought the circumstances o Tragedy: potential unfulfilled. lack of reflection life has not been experienced the way you approach your life depends on throwness. Buddha: o Idea of choice: the child will choose for himself. Even unconscious choices are choices. (He can choose between being a world ruler and a world teacher ruler like father, or teacher, his potential.) o Buddha only exposed to beauty: fall in love with the idea and therefore unaffected by the realities of the world; eventually realizes that the world is not like that and leaves o Temptations: FearAs Mara: he tried to frighten Siddhartha with storms and armies of demons. Siddhartha remained completely calm. DesireAs Kama: he sent his three beautiful daughters to tempt him (sexual), again to no avail. Social dutyAs Dharma: he tried to ensnare Siddhartha in his own ego by appealing to his sense of social duty and pride. If you feel like youre giving, then you feel like youre losing part of yourself; when you help others, not out of generosity but to make yourself feel good, it leaves the people youre helping out in a worse position than they were. Once you understand who you are, you can help others. Realize yourself. Buddhism: o Mahayana (big ferry boat): adopted expressions from Taoism enlightenment possible for lay practitioners bodhisattva: ideal; person dedicates life to the salvation of all sentient beings dont accept full liberation until all others are free from suffering compassion! o TheravadaHinayana (little ferry boat): Renunciation of worldly life and a monastic lifestyle arhat through practice and discipline = liberation from suffering Wisdom! o Dependent origination : everything connected to everything else causally existence is a process of change; this is because that is; this is not because that is not o Rebirth: Vedic sense: soul (atman) travels from one life to another (Brahma) Annihilationist sense: humans are destroyed at death Buddhist sense: middle; you die and someone else is born; I am one aspect of the process that doesnt end (i.e. one bulb dies, you replace it, and there is still light) o Four Noble Truths (Buddhas darma): i. The problem = suffering; disastisfaction (i.e. pain, illness, old age, not being able to hold on to the ones we love forever) ii. Cause = desire (trying to be something were not) 1. Attachment (greed and jealous love) 2. Aversion (hate, resentment) iii. Elimination of likingdisliking dichotomy (using desire rather than being used by it) - decrease anxiety = freedom from unnecessary psychological pain; rid suffering by ridding craving. iv. Eight-fold path: WISDOM 1. Right understanding understanding the interconnectedness and impermanence of everything 2. Right thinking cultivating thoughts of selfless detachment, compassion, and non-harming MORAL CONDUCT 3. Right speech abstaining from lying, slander, gossip, and injurious speech 4. Right action acting in ways that will benefit and not cause suffering to oneself and others 5. Right livelihood avoiding ways of making a living that are based on the exploitation of the suffering of animals or people MENTAL DISCIPLINE (related to karma volitional action (word, deed, thought); every action has effects or consequences that rebound) 6. Right effort cutting off unwholesome thoughts before they can be transformed into actions and nurturing wholesome ones 7. Right mindfulness maintaining full awareness of our actions and experiences at the present moment and their likely consequences 8. Right concentration the disciplining, concentration, and one-pointedness of mind resulting from the practice of meditation o Three characteristics of existence: Anicca: Impermanence everything is changing
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