Tuesday, August 12, 2014

You're too "clingy" (cartoon)

Dhr. Seven, Crystal Quintero, Amber Larson (eds.), Wisdom Quarterly; Ven. Nyanatiloka
I don't know what I'm doing wrong in relationship after relationship, searching for...

(Family Guy/Hulu) As clingy as a baby at the bosom is Stewie as Brian tries to cling to Drew

Starts off fun, gets to be too much.
Crystal, is clinging a problem in life? It is in Ashley's life; she has been known to get quite clingy. Ask her. But you? Not me so much, but guys I've dated. What do they do? You know how Brian once went on that reality dating show as a contestant then became infatuated with the bachelorette? Yes, exactly, I get it. He would leave all these phone messages and not get the hint to naff off. 

Brian the clingy bachelor (Family Guy)
"Clinging" (upādāna), according to the Path of Purification (Vis.M. XVII), is a pathetic and intensified degree of craving. The opposite is the "extinction of craving," which is identical with the "extinction of defilements" (āsavakkhaya), which is the attainment of full enlightenment or arhatship. (See noble persons).

There are four kinds of clinging that prevent enlightenment:
  1. sensual clinging (kāma-upādāna),
  2. clinging to views (ditthi-upādāna),
  3. clinging to mere rules and rituals (sīlabbata-upādāna),
  4. clinging to personality-belief (atta-vāda-upādāna).
(1) "What now is sensual clinging? Whatever with regard to sense objects there exists of sensual lust, sensual craving, sensual attachment, sensual passion, sensual delusion, sensual fetters (bonds of desire): this is called 'sensual clinging.'

Owner of a lonely heart? Try clinging to sensuality. It will disappoint, but what else are you going to do to overcome the empty feeling in your core and the body's cravings? Invest?

(2) ''What is the clinging to views? 'Alms and offerings are useless; there is no fruit or result for good and bad deeds: all such views and wrong opinions are called the clinging to views.

(3) "What is the clinging to mere rules and rituals? The holding firmly to the view that through mere rules (vows, precepts, discipline) and rituals (observances) one may reach enlightenment: this is called the clinging to mere rules and rituals.
  • [NOTE: the way to enlightenment and nirvana is liberating-insight, made possible by the Noble Eightfold Path, not mere observance of ceremonies, celebrations, superstitions, magic, abstinences, or austerities, which may aid one along the way but cannot possibly in and of themselves bring about enlightenment.]
(4) "What is the clinging to personality-belief? The 20 kinds of ego-views with regard to the aggregates of existence (see sakkāya-ditthi): these are called the clinging to personality-belief" (Dhs.1214-17).

Not going to get all clingy, are you? - I'm not even going to call you tomorrow. - Good.
Heart Sutra: immaculate heart free of clinging
This traditional fourfold division of clinging is unsatisfactory. Besides sensual (kama) clinging we would expect either clinging to form or materiality (rūpa) and clinging to formlessness or immateriality (arūpa), or simply clinging to continued existence (continued becoming, bhava-upādāna).

Although the non-returner, the third of the four stages of enlightenment, is entirely free from the traditional four kinds of clinging, that person is not yet free of rebirth, as one still possesses clinging to continued becoming, the deep desire for rebirth on other planes even though one grasps that they are illusory, marked by Three Characteristics of Existence, namely, that they are impersonal, impermanent, and never able to satisfy one's desires.

The Commentary to the Path of Purification (Vis.M. XVII), in trying to get out of this dilemma, explains "sense clinging" as including here all of the remaining kinds of clinging.

"Clinging" is the common rendering for the Pali/Sanskrit term upādāna, but "grasping" would come closer to the literal meaning of it, which is "uptake" after craving it. See the Three Cardinal Discourses (Wheel No. 17), p.19.

"Family Guy" the Very First Episode
(Workard) Life in modern suburban USA as brought to us by Seth Macfarlane and the many writers of and contributors to "Family Guy." This is the pilot or unofficial first episode, the prequel. The "official" first episode was a remake of it.

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