Bhutan's dark secret to happiness

#1
I found this article very interesting.

http://www.bbc.com/travel/story/20150408-bhutans-dark-secret-to-happiness

“You need to think about death for five minutes every day,” Ura replied. “It will cure you.”

“How?” I said, dumbfounded.

“It is this thing, this fear of death, this fear of dying before we have accomplished what we want or seen our children grow. This is what is troubling you.”
“Rich people in the West, they have not touched dead bodies, fresh wounds, rotten things. This is a problem. This is the human condition. We have to be ready for the moment we cease to exist.”
Another explanation is the country’s deeply felt Buddhist beliefs, especially that of reincarnation. If you know you’ll get another shot at life, you’re less likely to fear the end of this particular one. As Buddhists say, you shouldn’t fear dying any more than you fear discarding old clothes.
 
#2
The whole way we approach death over here in the UK seems more than a little weird to me... we seem isolated from it, and in some sort of denial about it...

...organ transplants, medical interventions and resuscitation, emergency services, suicide, right to die, care homes, etc all seem worthy of a bit of thought.

I think I have some fear about the dying bit, I don't want to suffer too much, but death itself... no, I don't think I have any fear of that.

Not sure about dealing with panic attacks by thinking about death every day - depends on what is behind the attack. But certainly, accepting ones vulnerability has been calming for me.
 
#3
I suppose this topic raises different responses in different people.

I've just found myself laughing at the thought of some third-rate local newspaper publishing some tawdry article after my death. Not that I expect any such article to appear, it was just an idle flight of the imagination. I suppose the recent passing of two friends, one close, the other more distant, within a few days of one another has brought the subject to mind. As one gets older, attending funerals becomes somewhat of a routine part of the calendar. Death is no stranger.
 
#4
The whole way we approach death over here in the UK seems more than a little weird to me... we seem isolated from it, and in some sort of denial about it...
We have a similar situation here in Finland. I think that the main cause of this attitude is materialism. There is a huge difference between "discarding old clothes" (the buddhist saying mentioned in the article) and the materialistic thinking mentioned in this Michael Prescott's blog post:
http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2007/09/we-have-met-the.html
 
#5
We have a similar situation here in Finland. I think that the main cause of this attitude is materialism. There is a huge difference between "discarding old clothes" (the buddhist saying mentioned in the article) and the materialistic thinking mentioned in this Michael Prescott's blog post:
http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2007/09/we-have-met-the.html
I bet if you talked to some people about weird experiences, or that kind of thing. You'd be surprised by how many people aren't that convinced of satisfied with Atheism/Materialism.
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#6
We have a similar situation here in Finland. I think that the main cause of this attitude is materialism. There is a huge difference between "discarding old clothes" (the buddhist saying mentioned in the article) and the materialistic thinking mentioned in this Michael Prescott's blog post:
http://michaelprescott.typepad.com/michael_prescotts_blog/2007/09/we-have-met-the.html
Except why would abortion or euthanasia necessarily be a bad thing if the afterlife is real?

I do think there might be some cultural connection, but I'm not as sure as I once was that the connections are as clear as Prescott presents. After all, as Roberta notes it's not clear people are materialists in any definitive sense.

I'd think one might make a smaller leap that abortions and teen pregnancies are more due to a poor emphasis on sex education. As one chef-artist* noted, we have puritanism and pornography, and thus it's little surprise we end up with the society we do.

*Can't recall the guy's name....
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#8
I support euthanasia, so I don't consider it a bad thing. I also think that in some instances abortion is the right choice. Nevertheless, I agree with him that acceptance of the futility of life is the most common consequence of materialistic thinking.
I do wonder about one thing Fred Wulf noted, that suicides do seem to get lost and seem particularly vulnerable to negative afterlives.

Of course it's hard to map out what reality is like outside the living world.
 
#9
I support euthanasia, so I don't consider it a bad thing. I also think that in some instances abortion is the right choice. Nevertheless, I agree with him that acceptance of the futility of life is the most common consequence of materialistic thinking.
Recently I watched a documentary here in the UK about a man that was diagnosed with motor neurone disease and he opted for euthanasia in Switzerland. It was a powerful docu but I came away feeling rather uneasy about the process/decision. I know that I can't really judge, as it's a very personal decision, but at the same time, it's not a decision that affects only yourself.

I agree with you about abortion, just hope that I'm never involved with making such a choice.

I watched another docu the same week about a 40year old woman that has terminal cancer, I really came away from that feeling that she was an inspiration. Very different from the first one I watched, but as I say, who am I to judge?
 
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