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Paradoxical struggle between being too clean and too sinful

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Paradoxical struggle between being too clean and too sinful

Postby Scepcop » 23 Mar 2014, 17:57

Have you noticed the following:

If you try to be very good, pure, clean, moralistic and virtuous (like the heroes in comic books and fairy tales are), it doesn't work because it gets boring after a while. You start to feel like you have to sin in order to "live a little". Otherwise life gets boring and feels too repressed.

But on the other hand, if you live a hedonistic sin of constant pleasure and sin, catering to your carnal desires all the time, you start to feel like you are corrupting and defiling yourself. At that point, you miss having a spiritual life, having virtues and morals, and the benefits of having a good clean healthy lifestyle.

It's like you have to sin in order to appreciate the value of moral virtues, and conversely, you have to abstain from sin and guilty pleasures, in order to miss them again and be tempted by them.

How can you win? How can you have a stable balance in the middle, when both sides are constantly drawing at you?

I wonder how Buddha dealt with this.

It's like the grass is always greener on the other side, as if our mind is playing tricks on us.

This even applies to simple matters. For example, if you stay home too much, you start to miss going out and feel like you need some motion and fresh air outside. But if you are out all the time, you start to miss the comforts and conveniences of home and having a personal space.

Also, when you are in a relationship, you miss the freedom and non-attachment of being single. But when you are single, you miss the love, companionship and comfort of having a partner.

Either way, you always want what you don't have at the moment, both in the simple things and larger areas. Why is that?

It's like when you look deeper at life, everything seems to be a paradox, contradiction and oxymoron. Kind of like everything in existence is a "union of opposites" as depicted in the Chinese Ying Yang circular symbol.

Any of you notice this or think about it? Is there a philosophical, psychological or spiritual explanation for this?
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Dilemma: Why being too virtuous or too sinful doesn't wo

Postby SydneyPSIder » 23 Mar 2014, 18:39

very good point. yin and yang indeed. are there such things as 'opposites' in reality though, or just that thinking makes them so? secondary challenge: demonstrate any actual opposites that exist anywhere in nature.
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Re: Paradoxical struggle between being too clean and too sin

Postby Scepcop » 27 Mar 2014, 15:10

I don't know if there are opposites or not. There seems to be though.

Have you heard the saying "Only the good die young"? What does that mean? Does that mean the most good, most pure, most innocent and the most selfless people usually die young? If so, isn't it better to be a mix of good and bad traits, and not to be too good? The most evil tyrants in history did not die young, at least most of them didn't.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Paradoxical struggle between being too clean and too sin

Postby SydneyPSIder » 27 Mar 2014, 16:21

It's been pointed out there is really no such thing as an 'opposite' in reality, except for perhaps the narrow definition of placing something opposite something else. (And even then is it 'opposite'? or just near?) It is just something ppl do in cognition to make sense of things. Dualism. Yin Yang. Splitting. If you present any pair of 'opposites', or a list of them, I can show in each case why they are not opposites, just a difference, often in the same thing being measured. Or you can perhaps perform this exercise for yourself after some reflection and practice.
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