X-Message-Number: 22488
Date: Wed, 10 Sep 2003 13:08:12 +0200
Subject: Re: Unhappy coincidence; how to work together?
From: David Stodolsky <>

On Monday, September 8, 2003, at 10:15  PM, Tim Freeman wrote:

> What's going on here?  What do we do about it to work together anyway?

> The Buddhists have a good approach to happiness (except they call it
> freedom from suffering) if you set aside all the supernatural
> mumbo-jumbo and just pay attention to the Four Noble Truths and the
> Eightfold Path.  I have seen it make a difference and cause large
> apparent decreases in neuroticism.  Do we need to have classes in this
> or something similar?

You can't set aside all the supernatural mumbo-jumbo, because that is 
what ultimately gives the system meaning. Without those meanings, the 
truths and path have no psychological value, in the long run. However, 
in the short run, they can yield a benefit. This is true of ritualistic 
behavior in any worldview.

Thus, the foundation upon which happiness (high self-esteem is probably 
a better term, technically) is built, is a system of meanings. One of 
the main functions of such meanings is to buffer the fear of death. The 
Buddhist approach is to deny  physical reality (treating it as an 
illusion), if we stick with its original form. This is in complete 
contradiction to the meanings upon which cryonic practices are based, 
that physical reality is the basis of all life. Thus, an attempt to 
combine the two is problematic.

Getting back to the original question: Working together effectively 
requires shared meanings which value joint work. These have been less 
available around ALCOR due to the dominance of the Libertarian 
philosophy, etc. The rejection of the group as a reality or its 
treatment as the 'enemy' of the individual (by Libertarian philosophy) 
is a methodological error which must be overcome to achieve a stable 
social environment. Cryonic practices must be embedded in way of life, 
just as those of any religion are, if they are to be maintained in the 
long run.

Elaboration of these thoughts and those that might serve as a 
foundation for such a way of life:

Evolution of Death Understanding


Essential realities and their meanings



David S. Stodolsky    SpamTo: 

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