Nirvana is a term used to describe the profound peace of mind that is acquired with liberation. It is the state of being free from suffering.
The word literally means "blown out" (as in a candle) and refers, in the Buddhist context, to the imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of desire, aversion, and delusion have been finally extinguished. (loosely quoting Wikipedia here...)
So...I'm curious if you all believe that Atheists as a general rule are able to reach this level of liberation? Do you think it's possible for Theists to do so? Do you believe that all/most Atheists reach Nirvana? How do you know when you've reached it? Once you've reached it how do you know you'll be able to stay there? Is it just in your mind or is there more to it? What could be a scientific explanation for the state of Nirvana?....Do you believe that Nirvana is attached to any kind of religious dogma since it's roots are found in Buddhism? Isn't Buddhism a religion? If not, then why not. If you believe Nirvana is rubbish, then tell me why.
When I used to run, and sometimes while cross country skiing, I would hit a mental state that I called 'zoned'. In that state, nothing bothered me and all my thoughts just stopped. I would only be aware of my heart beating and my breath, and it was truly perfect. I really need to get back to that one of these days.
I don't know if my experience was similar Heather, but I couldn't feel anything - it was though I were a disembodied spirit, just flying down the trail, totally oblivious to anything physical.
It's endorphins, isn't it. Isn't that why (especially) runners get withdrawals if prevented from running. I'd say "nirvana" is probably a chemical state too.
Nothing wrong with chemical states per se, mind you.
And it explains how people become "addicted" to exercise. You know the type: runs 5 miles every single day and when s/he can't run on a particular day either suffers from extreme guilt over it or runs 10 the next day. Exercise way beyond what might be required for health, because that sort of running everyday actually isn't healthy and will take its toll eventually.
Raving's like that.
And/or MDMA. There's some research on this.
Experiences may vary.
But it sure explains why I like dubstep.
Those African tribes-people who stay up all night drumming and dancing? It's just like that. Some combination of rhythmical music, rhythmical movement, exertion and endorphins. Trancing out.
From "Sufi Saints of the Indian Subcontinent" by Zahurul Hassan Sharib:
Hazrat Shaikh Sharf-ud-din Bu Ali Qalandar is considered to be one of the leading saints. ... He acquired knowledge and learning and took to renunciation and ascetic practices. On his becoming an absorbed one, he threw all his books into a river. ...
In one of his letters, he says that when an individual is shown the Grace of God and the proper mood is conferred upon him, and he is separated from the self, then and only then will love make its own way and show its own manifestation of beauty, and only then will he recognise the beloved.
I know how ...
I really do ....
I've reached it ...
(now you all think Im mad)
Good Grief!! .. madness has a lot to do with it ...
@Angela - I'm listening...
RE: "How do you reach Nirvana?" - last I heard, she was still stripping at the Starlight - tell her Arch sent you.
Quoting Wiki for that word.. Nirvana:
"A transcendent state in which there is neither suffering, desire, nor sense of self, and the subject is released from the effects of karma and samsara. It represents the final goal of Buddhism."
We can break that word as "Nir+vana" in Indic languages.
It's a negation of "Va+na".
To understand this, here's an eg.
"Ishvara" = God, "Vada" = ism, "Nir" = Not.
>> Nir+ishvara+vada= NonTheism.
There are various definitions for that word "va+na",
Thank God !! I'm a born again & again & again... Hindu Atheist,
I'll be happy with my Bacterium avatar in my next life "on a new planet". :-P
There are many wings of Buddhism & most of them follow Buddhism as a tradition.
If you'll phonetically translate "Buddhi+ism" back to English from Indic languages, that's "Mind+ism".
In my mind "Nirvana" is equivalent to "Death", when the soul "atoms/energy" of this body will be unified with the Universe.
Technically in theosophy, Nirvana is equivalent to "people of Abrahamic faiths gaining access to the Garden of Eden".
++ If you are interested in the cosmic database of Karmas & Samsaras..
(jus 4 lulz) Aakashic Records are pan-dimensional DB with Big-Bang Protection & built-in consciousness (for 311 trillion 40 billion light yrs) aka "Mind of God/ Book Of Life".. + Base of Mr. Deepak Chopra's books.
Best argument for the existence of supreme soul/Nirvana in both Buddhism & Hinduism is
"Neither the existent Nor the non-existent."