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The Buddha denies the existence of any permanent entity either physical or mental. We call this theory about self as Anatmavada.

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Duality of Life and Death

For Buddhism,
the duality between life and death is only one instance of a more general problem,
dualistic thinking. Why is dualistic thinking a problem?

We differentiate between good and evil,
success and failure,
life and death
and so forth because we want to keep the one and reject the other.
But, we cannot have one without the other because they are interdependent:
having one half also maintains the other.
Living a ‘pure’ life thus requires a preoccupation with impurity
and our hope for success will be proportional to our fear of failure.
We discriminate between life and death in order to affirm one and deny the other
and as we have seen our tragedy lies in the paradox,
that these two objects are so interdependent.
There is no life without death
and what we are more likely to overlook
there is no death without life.
This means our problem is not death, but life-and-death.


Dogen Zenji

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