Author Topic: Stopping striving or not?  (Read 28250 times)

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #75 on: July 30, 2014, 07:06:09 PM »
but we are born, our lifes are not entirely random, the universe exists, and we are separate individuals. So many falsehoods in one post
Its not necessarily a falsehood. We define what is in effect a rather large immensity down to precise instances.

Marc

  • Member
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #76 on: July 30, 2014, 07:12:50 PM »
Can you elaborate please? I didnt understand you

but we are born, our lifes are not entirely random, the universe exists, and we are separate individuals. So many falsehoods in one post
Its not necessarily a falsehood. We define what is in effect a rather large immensity down to precise instances.

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #77 on: July 30, 2014, 07:22:41 PM »
Can you elaborate please? I didnt understand you
Sorry this is potentially quite a difficult concept to convey. People tend to define things down to specific instances rather than taking a total view. So rather than viewing ourselves as a link in a very long chain, we like to think of ourselves as a specific, special born entity. Rather than consider our existence and makeup as random (or maybe coincidental would be a better word), we try and define our existence as having purpose and meaning. These are all just relative terms we use to try and make sense of everything. But big means nothing without small, long without short, people are somehow distinct from any other animal just because we can talk and "think", etc.

A good book to explain this better would be "No Boundary" by Ken Wilbur. It does get a bit techo by the end, but you should pick up the overall idea in the first few chapters.

VinceField

  • Guest
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #78 on: July 30, 2014, 08:38:25 PM »
I think the Buddhist concept of Karma is in full agreement with this to the extent that I am referring to.
The concept of Karma doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's foundation is the antithesis of what you have said.

LOL Dude I think you are the one who doesn't exist in a vacuum.

According to my understanding of the Buddhist concept of Karma, our current state of being and the circumstances surrounding our lives at any given point in time are results of past actions and states of being.  It even goes so far as to suggest that these results carry over into our next lives.  The Buddha taught that in this way, the results of wholesome action lead to true happiness and liberation, and the results of unwholesome action lead to suffering.  Hence, individuals currently suffering unwholesome inner states and external circumstances have drawn these states to themselves through the law of karma, just as those enjoying wholesome states have created these for themselves through past wholesome action. 

Am I really that far off here?   :)

Edit:  I understand that circumstances are shaped by a multitude of uncontrollable factors, but I do believe that in a general sense, one's external conditions are a reflection of one's internal conditions.  This is only logical, as actions are born from thoughts, and it is these actions which help to shape one's path in life.  I have personally experienced the validity of this idea and know many others who have as well.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 09:38:54 PM by VinceField »

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #79 on: July 30, 2014, 10:36:59 PM »
You have it in reverse. It sounds like you've skipped the chapters about dependent origination (the foundation behind the concept of Karma).

And correct, I don't exist in a vacuum either.

VinceField

  • Guest
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #80 on: July 31, 2014, 12:32:28 AM »
Quote
You have it in reverse. It sounds like you've skipped the chapters about dependent origination (the foundation behind the concept of Karma).

I understand dependent origination.  It ties in just fine with what I have said.

Quote
Within Buddhism, the theory of karmic action and result (karmaphala) is identified as part of the broader doctrine of dependent origination (pratityasamutpada), which states that all phenomena arise as the result of multiple causes and conditions.

As I wrote in my last post,

Quote
Edit:  I understand that circumstances are shaped by a multitude of uncontrollable factors


Here are some more respectable sources on karma:

Quote
Bhikkhu Thanissaro emphasizes the same point; he states:

...one of the many things the Buddha discovered in the course of his awakening was that causality is not linear. The experience of the present is shaped both by actions in the present and by actions in the past. Actions in the present shape both the present and the future. The results of past and present actions continually interact. Thus there is always room for new input into the system, which gives scope for free will.

Quote
Karma is often likened to a seed, and the two words for karmic result, vipaka and phala, respectively mean 'ripening' and 'fruit'. An action is thus like a seed which will sooner or later, as part of its natural maturation process, result in certain fruits accruing to the doer of the action...Each action is a seed which grows or evolves into our experience of the world.

My view and my previous posts are in harmonious agreement with the above. 

Quote
Nevertheless, the Buddha emphasized the importance of understanding the nature of karma on a general level. He taught that wholesome actions (free from attachment, aversion, and ignorance) lead to happiness and eventually to liberation; and unwholesome actions (based in attachment, aversion and ignorance) lead to suffering. Developing a genuine, experiential understanding of karma on this level is considered to be an essential aspect of the Buddhist path.

My experience of karma is on right on the mark with this level of understanding that the Buddha taught.

I suppose you have misunderstood my previous posts.  If you still believe I have it in reverse, please explain how exactly you believe this is so.  Thanks.

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #81 on: July 31, 2014, 02:51:15 AM »

A good book to explain this better would be "No Boundary" by Ken Wilbur. It does get a bit techo by the end, but you should pick up the overall idea in the first few chapters.

DT, I just read about Ken Wilbur in Wikipedia. Absolutely fascinating stuff he wrote. You have given me several months of reading material. Thank you!
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #82 on: July 31, 2014, 04:02:41 AM »
Quote
Bhikkhu Thanissaro emphasizes the same point; he states:

...one of the many things the Buddha discovered in the course of his awakening was that causality is not linear. The experience of the present is shaped both by actions in the present and by actions in the past. Actions in the present shape both the present and the future. The results of past and present actions continually interact. Thus there is always room for new input into the system, which gives scope for free will.

The above quote has some weird circular logic.

"Actions in the present shape both the present and the future". The present is future of the past. So, the present actions are dependent on the past actions. Present actions (which are dependent on the past actions) and past actions shape the future. Where is the room for free will?
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

VinceField

  • Guest
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #83 on: July 31, 2014, 06:51:00 AM »
Quote
Where is the room for free will?

I'm not sure that clinging to the view that there is no free will is going to be of any assistance to you.  Perhaps this will help put the issue into perspective:

Quote
Buddhism accepts both freedom and determinism (or something similar to it), but rejects the idea of an agent, and thus the idea that freedom is a free will belonging to an agent.[224] According to the Buddha, "There is free action, there is retribution, but I see no agent that passes out from one set of momentary elements into another one, except the [connection] of those elements."[224] Buddhists believe in neither absolute free will, nor determinism. It preaches a middle doctrine, named pratitya-samutpada in Sanskrit, which is often translated as "inter-dependent arising". This theory is also called "Conditioned Genesis" or "Dependent Origination". It teaches that every volition is a conditioned action as a result of ignorance. In part, it states that free will is inherently conditioned and not "free" to begin with. It is also part of the theory of karma in Buddhism. The concept of karma in Buddhism is different from the notion of karma in Hinduism. In Buddhism, the idea of karma is much less deterministic. The Buddhist notion of karma is primarily focused on the cause and effect of moral actions in this life, while in Hinduism the concept of karma is more often connected with determining one's destiny in future lives.

In Buddhism it is taught that the idea of absolute freedom of choice (that is that any human being could be completely free to make any choice) is unwise, because it denies the reality of one's physical needs and circumstances. Equally incorrect is the idea that humans have no choice in life or that their lives are pre-determined. To deny freedom would be to deny the efforts of Buddhists to make moral progress (through our capacity to freely choose compassionate action).

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #84 on: July 31, 2014, 10:53:24 AM »
If you still believe I have it in reverse, please explain how exactly you believe this is so.
I understand dependent origination.  It ties in just fine with what I have said.
Quote
Pratityasamutpada is a Sanskrit term that has been translated into English in a variety of ways. The most common translations are dependent origination or dependent arising. But the term is also translated as interdependent co-arising, conditioned arising, conditioned genesis, etc. The term could be translated somewhat more literally as arising in dependence upon conditions.
circumstances are usually a reflection of the individual anyway.
Why would you say that, and not the other way round?

Marc

  • Member
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #85 on: July 31, 2014, 12:48:02 PM »
Can you elaborate please? I didnt understand you
Sorry this is potentially quite a difficult concept to convey. People tend to define things down to specific instances rather than taking a total view. So rather than viewing ourselves as a link in a very long chain, we like to think of ourselves as a specific, special born entity. Rather than consider our existence and makeup as random (or maybe coincidental would be a better word), we try and define our existence as having purpose and meaning. These are all just relative terms we use to try and make sense of everything. But big means nothing without small, long without short, people are somehow distinct from any other animal just because we can talk and "think", etc.

A good book to explain this better would be "No Boundary" by Ken Wilbur. It does get a bit techo by the end, but you should pick up the overall idea in the first few chapters.

I've no problem in viewing ourselves as a link in a very long chain, and I didn't say we were special in any way. That we are born is not relative to anything. As living things we are born in accordance with a known biological explanation. That 'big' doesn't have meaning w/o 'small' doesn't relate to any of what i said, i think, because big and small are relational properties whereas being alive is not a relational property. If everything that existed was alive, everything would still be alive, but we wouldn't need a concept for it.

And I also think that our lifes have no purpose from the "perspective of the universe", apart from the biological "purpose" of reproducing our own genes.

I just don't know how to react to the post of Middleway. Do we have to take everything he says as metaphorical? If not he is just stating plain falsehoods.

"Humans have no choice. Period. But our lives are not pre-determined either. They are random. We are like a rain drop falling out of sky from                    a cloud. We have no control over where and when the cloud will release us."

It's obvious that we have control over our lifes. If not we would not go to work every morning, we would just wait for events to come?

"In reality, we are not individual drops. We go on interacting/mixing/changing (re-birth) as we go along the drains to the creeks to the river and finally to the ocean."

I wouldn't say this is false, but there is no evidence whatsoever to support this.

"This notion of us being born is a lie. I don't recall being born."

That is just plainly stupid no offense. And that the explanation of our coming to existence can be tracked back to the origin of the universe doesn't mean that we aren't born, and that we don't know any further cause before the big bang doesn't imply that the universe doesn't exist. If he is trying to say that it doesn't exist as a "self" ("This universe ... has no self. It does not exist") this doesn't relate to us having been born or not.
Am i making a fool of myself for taking all this literally? In that case I think he is abusing metaphor so much that he doesn't know what he is saying anymore
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 12:56:21 PM by Marc »

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #86 on: July 31, 2014, 01:32:28 PM »
That we are born is not relative to anything. As living things we are born in accordance with a known biological explanation. That 'big' doesn't have meaning w/o 'small' doesn't relate to any of what i said, i think, because big and small are relational properties whereas being alive is not a relational property.
Of course it's a relative property. Being born or being alive is relative to being dead. It's viewing a human as a defined instance that's born, and dies, instead of part of a much greater sequence.
 
And I also think that our lifes have no purpose from the "perspective of the universe", apart from the biological "purpose" of reproducing our own genes.
I'm not even sure about that.
I just don't know how to react to the post of Middleway. Do we have to take everything he says as metaphorical? If not he is just stating plain falsehoods.
Everything we say is metaphorical to an extent. They're ways in which we try and measure and relate to existence. So for us we have concept of birth, death, etc but in a great sense these are just perspectives we're using to try and narrow things down.
It's obvious that we have control over our lifes. If not we would not go to work every morning, we would just wait for events to come?
How's going to work everyday control? Control would be someone losing their job, and not getting upset about it, or succeeding but not being proud about it. Getting up in the morning or having a shower isn't control.
Am i making a fool of myself for taking all this literally? In that case I think he is abusing metaphor so much that he doesn't know what he is saying anymore
I think the point is you could take either way literally.

Marc

  • Member
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #87 on: July 31, 2014, 03:00:56 PM »
"Of course it's a relative property. Being born or being alive is relative to being dead. It's viewing a human as a defined instance that's born, and dies, instead of part of a much greater sequence."

If there is only one thing that exists, it can't fall to the set of things that are bigger than other things, or to the set of things that are smaller than other things. But it will fall either to the set of living things or to the set of dead things. That's what I mean when I say that being alive is not relative.   

"I'm not even sure about that."

I used quotations for 'purpose' for a reason. I didn't mean to say that we exist in order to make our genes survive, but rather that we exist because we have been doing so, and in that sense it is as if our lifes have this as a purpose, because we are adapted to do that.

"How's going to work everyday control? Control would be someone losing their job, and not getting upset about it, or succeeding but not being proud about it. Getting up in the morning or having a shower isn't control."

He said: "Humans have no choice. Period. But our lives are not pre-determined either. They are random." And this is false. Life is not random, we can make predictions of what will probably happen if we do certain things. If you say that this is not real control, because our predicting and acting in accordance to this predicting is determined by other factors than our will (that we don't control), I have no problem with that, but he said something else.

"I think the point is you could take either way literally."

I do not understand what you are saying here. What are the two ways in which you can interpret the text? The metaphorical way and the literal? But if you interpret the text as metaphorical you are not interpreting the text literally

« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 03:03:19 PM by Marc »

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #88 on: July 31, 2014, 08:15:32 PM »
If there is only one thing that exists, it can't fall to the set of things that are bigger than other things, or to the set of things that are smaller than other things. But it will fall either to the set of living things or to the set of dead things. That's what I mean when I say that being alive is not relative.
Which one thing are you referring to?
I do not understand what you are saying here. What are the two ways in which you can interpret the text?
Not the text, a person. You can define a person as being born and dying for instance, or you can view them as a small part of a larger chain of life. Or a number of other ways also. It was more trying to point out a convention like the concept of being born is just a way we try to make sense of something.

Edit: At least, that's my ham-fisted interpretation of Middleway
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 08:37:10 PM by Dharmic Tui »

Marc

  • Member
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #89 on: July 31, 2014, 09:39:07 PM »
Quote
Which one thing are you referring to?

I was not refering to anything in particular it was just a simple case to illustrate the difference between a relation and a property.

Quote
Not the text, a person. You can define a person as being born and dying for instance, or you can view them as a small part of a larger chain of life. Or a number of other ways also. It was more trying to point out a convention like the concept of being born is just a way we try to make sense of something.

Edit: At least, that's my ham-fisted interpretation of Middleway

You can describe reality in many ways, that's sort of trivial. But that a description applies or doesn't apply is not a matter of choice. You can decide to use the concept born to describe the event of a child coming to existence, or you could describe the event in terms of atoms moving. But that you choose to use the second does not mean that the child is not born, or if the first one that the atoms are not moving in this particular way.
What it is, it is. Unless you subscribe to a relativist ontology.
« Last Edit: July 31, 2014, 09:56:02 PM by Marc »

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #90 on: August 01, 2014, 12:36:43 AM »

I'm not sure that clinging to the view that there is no free will is going to be of any assistance to you.  Perhaps this will help put the issue into perspective:

Quote
Buddhism accepts both freedom and determinism (or something similar to it), but rejects the idea of an agent, and thus the idea that freedom is a free will belonging to an agent.[224] According to the Buddha, "There is free action, there is retribution, but I see no agent that passes out from one set of momentary elements into another one, except the [connection] of those elements."[224] Buddhists believe in neither absolute free will, nor determinism. It preaches a middle doctrine, named pratitya-samutpada in Sanskrit, which is often translated as "inter-dependent arising". This theory is also called "Conditioned Genesis" or "Dependent Origination". It teaches that every volition is a conditioned action as a result of ignorance. In part, it states that free will is inherently conditioned and not "free" to begin with. It is also part of the theory of karma in Buddhism. The concept of karma in Buddhism is different from the notion of karma in Hinduism. In Buddhism, the idea of karma is much less deterministic. The Buddhist notion of karma is primarily focused on the cause and effect of moral actions in this life, while in Hinduism the concept of karma is more often connected with determining one's destiny in future lives.

In Buddhism it is taught that the idea of absolute freedom of choice (that is that any human being could be completely free to make any choice) is unwise, because it denies the reality of one's physical needs and circumstances. Equally incorrect is the idea that humans have no choice in life or that their lives are pre-determined. To deny freedom would be to deny the efforts of Buddhists to make moral progress (through our capacity to freely choose compassionate action).

Let us flesh this out a bit more by using the text from your other post Ref Ajahn Brahm.

Letting go of the past and future, letting go of the thinking mind, and letting go of the "doer" portion of the ego personality, leaving only the "experiencer" behind.
 

What does Ajahn Brahm referring to in the above statement?

Letting go of past and future and letting go of the thinking mind...when we do this, our mind stays in the present. In the present, the mind is in the "being mode" as opposed to "thinking mode". Therefore, there is no question of mind making a choice in this mode. It is the ego that makes the choice by help of thinking mind. The mind cannot make choices in the present. The moment you think, that thinking will move the mind to past or future. Therefore, there is no free will choice to made in the present. The so-called free will choice is made only by the ego with help of the conditioned thinking mind based on the current and past environmental factors.

This Karma philosophy you are referring to here predates Buddha and formulated by Hindus. Buddha modified it a bit. This philosophy as described in your quote above is for mass public consumption (lay people). We all know Buddha calibrated his teachings and taught various people based on their capacity of understand and assimilate his overall teachings.  This is eastern equivalent to heaven and hell.

Now, what is Ajahn Brahm referring to when he talks about "letting go of the "doer" portion of the ego personality, leaving only the experiencer behind"? Take for example emergency workers in a busy hospital. The paramedics will be talking at the water cooler in the morning and they get a call. They rush to the patients and try and save them. They may receive several calls in day. They may save lives and may be unsuccessful at others. All of this is done without any ego personality. They just do it. If Matthew is helping a bunch of us here on the forum, he is doing it in the same fashion with no ego personality. He is not helping us to accrue wholesome "credit" to his account to get liberated soon. So, as Matthew said earlier in this post, we should "work" towards helping others rather than "striving" which may get our ego entangled for wholesome or unwholesome actions.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

VinceField

  • Guest
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #91 on: August 01, 2014, 12:47:41 AM »
circumstances are usually a reflection of the individual anyway.
Why would you say that, and not the other way round?

Because the state of being a person is in determines the intention and nature of their actions to a large extent, and these actions influence future circumstances.  The actions come before results, and the results depend on the actions, regardless of how those actions are conditioned.  Perhaps it's a bit of a chicken and the egg paradox, as states of being and actions are conditioned by past actions and circumstances, but it is the person with the power to change, not the situation or circumstance itself.  An individual has freedom over how one handles any given circumstance, but one can do little more than accept any given circumstance that manifests in the present moment as a result of their previous thoughts, actions, and mental states.  Individuals do not necessarily reflect circumstances because of the freedom we have to not be affected by circumstances. 

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #92 on: August 01, 2014, 01:11:21 AM »
I spose you could call it chicken and egg. In this case there is a strong case to suggest circumstances came before people, so it's interesting you'd choose it in reverse.

VinceField

  • Guest
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #93 on: August 01, 2014, 02:43:46 AM »
I understand the logic in the idea that circumstances gave rise to people (aside from the notion that a higher intelligence underlying human consciousness is the creator of both people and the circumstances that created people in a realm outside of our conception of time, in which case perhaps neither option is valid). 

However, due to the power of the individual to influence one's path, and as the Buddha taught, the karmic law that wholesome actions give rise to wholesome states and unwholesome actions give rise to unwholesome states- in that exact order of words I might add- which is essentially the basis for all Buddhist practice- it becomes clear that it is the individual, through one's actions, who influences the fruition of future states and shapes both present and future circumstances, and through the Buddha's teachings and one's personal experience putting them into practice, it becomes clear that the individual is not wholly dependent upon circumstances, as one can be liberated from the sway of these circumstances and preconditioned states and still remain an individual, in fact, becoming the ultimate form of the individual, liberated from the illusion and suffering born from these circumstances. 

If it was the individual that was a reflection of the circumstances, then it would mean that the individual could not operate in any way that was not in accordance with those circumstances, as one would necessarily have to reflect those circumstances at all times, hence removing one's ability to induce personal change.  Rather, through Buddha's teachings of karma and rebirth, it is made clear that the circumstances are reflections of the individual in that the fruition of the person's past (and/or present) actions/thoughts/state shape and give rise to one's present and future circumstances.   
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 02:56:28 AM by VinceField »

Dharmic Tui

  • Member
  • Something
    • Some Theravada, some secular
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #94 on: August 01, 2014, 07:32:03 AM »
I understand the logic in the idea that circumstances gave rise to people (aside from the notion that a higher intelligence underlying human consciousness is the creator of both people and the circumstances that created people in a realm outside of our conception of time, in which case perhaps neither option is valid).
In case of a belief in intelligence creation then it'd go "god thingee"->circumstances->people. People (or a person, to be more definitive) is always contingent on conditions.
it becomes clear that the individual is not wholly dependent upon circumstances
Sure it is. What person isn't dependent on circumstances? That they can modify circumstances is irrelevant and I think something you're getting confused with.
If it was the individual that was a reflection of the circumstances, then it would mean that the individual could not operate in any way that was not in accordance with those circumstances, as one would necessarily have to reflect those circumstances at all times, hence removing one's ability to induce personal change.
Why could it not be both? How come a person isn't contingent on circumstances, but also able to change within the circumstances? Someone can be born into conditions and act in a way which is in line with those conditions, and someone else may use those conditions as a point of reference to change their own circumstances, but they can't change the circumstances that brought them to that point. Everything a person does is in reaction to something that they've inherited, whether within or without (and the without dwarfs the within).

Maybe you're merging conditionality with pre-determinism. Related concepts, but quite different.

Middleway

  • Staff
  • Just be a witness.
    • Vipassana as taught by Mr. Goenka - Switched to Shamatha
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #95 on: August 01, 2014, 09:42:49 AM »
but we are born, our lifes are not entirely random, the universe exists, and we are separate individuals. So many falsehoods in one post

Let me explain my perspective on each of these "falsehoods".

What I mean when I say we are not really born is that I am contending that we are extensions of the parents. We take a bit of physical matter from our parents (sperm and egg) and by taking food, we grow into humans according to their genetic code. So, we are physically/literally an extension of our parents. We don't say leaves and branches are "born" to a tree. We say they grow on a tree. Just like leaves on a tree, we are physically tethered to the mother by umbilical cord. I am using similar analogy to say that we are the leaves on our family tree and we go onto become branches when we have kids and grand kids. What is born is our ego. At the age of 12-18 months after we "grow" into this world, we become self aware. We realize that we are an individual separate from the rest of the world. This self awareness is the cause to the birth of our ego. This point on, it is my toy, my religion, my car, my house, my kids etc. starts.

If we were to be tethered to our parents like leaves on a tree, then we could imagine this massive 2 billion years old tree. When we look at a person, we identify that person as a whole and not as body parts. For example, I am not my hair, I am not my nails etc. When my hair is cut off and on the ground, it is not me anymore. Together with all body parts, we call ourselves as us. We are part of this world or universe and are inseparable from it. I.e even though were are a separate human body, we still are part of the universe. So, we are the universe when we look at the universe as a whole. We are a 14 billion year old tree called universe.  The ego wants us to believe we are separate individual. So, when we completely destroy our ego (stream entry), we identify ourselves with the whole and not as individual. Did you ever imagine what it would be like not having the ego at all? Close your eyes and imagine that you are that whole, the universe! Open your eyes with the mind set and look around. What do you see? There is no universe! It does not exist! You cannot see it because you are it!

Buddha took it one step further but I do not wish to go into it and risk being called stupid twice in the same thread! :)

I believe there are three important concepts we should understand in Buddhism. The no-self, stream entry, and nibbana. I believe understanding these concepts will greatly speed up our progress on the path.
Take everything I say with a grain of salt.

Marc

  • Member
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #96 on: August 01, 2014, 12:16:28 PM »
to say that one claim is stupid doesn't imply that who claimed it is stupid, sorry if that offended you.

I understand what you are saying for the most part, and I can see why it's illuminating to see things in this perspective also
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 12:23:52 PM by Marc »

shu

  • Guest
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #97 on: August 01, 2014, 12:39:17 PM »
Edit: it's not so important.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 01:36:33 PM by shu »

Marc

  • Member
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #98 on: August 01, 2014, 12:52:24 PM »
We don't say leaves and branches are "born" to a tree. We say they grow on a tree.

And we do this for a good reason, because they are physically attached to the tree. When I look at my feet I can't see parts of my parents hanging on them. Thank god. So I did not grow on them.

I was born, because I participated in the well documented act of birth. It's true, I have no memory of this event, but I am very very sure that it happened.

I am starting to sound sarcastic and I don't want to make fun of you. But really, if you are mangling up words like this and are distorting the meaning of words  and tell people that they weren't born, but they were brainwashed into believing they were born, you really don't explain yourself too well. Instead you start to sound like you make no sense at all and I don't think that is helpful if you want to talk about the dhamma in a meaningful way.

Same goes for your use of the word 'random'. To say that the engineering of a searchengine is a random event just doesn't make sense at all. It is a process that took thousands of people working in a coordinated manner for a long time, investing skill and creativity. It's not random.

And if I understand it correctly even the buddhist concept of Karma, cause and effect, clearly states that nothing is random, because there is almost always a cause for an action OR a thought.

'Right speech' is one element of the eightfold path. Getting your metaphors right could be important in this sense, especially if you want people to understand what you are saying.


I'm not to fond of metaphors either, but i did find some of his points useful, especially in his second post

VinceField

  • Guest
Re: Stopping striving or not?
« Reply #99 on: August 01, 2014, 04:44:42 PM »
it becomes clear that the individual is not wholly dependent upon circumstances
Sure it is. What person isn't dependent on circumstances? That they can modify circumstances is irrelevant and I think something you're getting confused with.

I said "wholly dependent" for a reason.  We are obviously dependent upon certain circumstances for survival and as a basis to ground us into a certain range of possible present and future choices.  What I meant is that we are not dependent on circumstances to the point where it is necessary to act in a way that is uniform with the internal conditions that have attributed to the rise to present circumstances, or in a way that our internal state is dependent upon the nature of the external conditions.  We are not dependent upon circumstances to shape who we are, as we have the freedom to change and choose our internal state at any time independent of the happenings of the external world around us.  An easier and perhaps more accurate way to say this is with the analogy I used of an individual not being a reflection of one's circumstances, as even if one's circumstances are grim, one does not necessarily have to reflect these external conditions internally. 

However, the analogy that circumstances are a reflection of the individual holds up perfectly in this case, as the wholesome internal state that is held by the individual will manifest as corresponding present and future conditions and circumstances as per the Buddha's teachings of karma, even if they do not manifest in this life.  If I'm not mistaken, the Buddhist idea of karma is that everything that manifests in a person's life is a result, in one way or another, of past and present actions, of karma.  These actions need not be a reflection of one's circumstances but are instead the seeds that sow future conditions and circumstances. 

Quote
As we sow, we reap somewhere and sometime, in his life or in a future birth. What we reap today is what we have sown either in the present or in the past.

The Samyutta Nikaya states:

"According to the seed that’s sown,
So is the fruit you reap there from,
Doer of good will gather good,
Doer of evil, evil reaps,
Down is the seed and thou shalt taste
The fruit thereof."

"You are born poor in this life on account of your past evil karma. He is born rich on account of his good Karma. So, be satisfied with your humble lot; but do good to be rich in your next life. You are being oppressed now because of your past evil Karma. There is your destiny. Be humble and bear your sufferings patiently. Do good now. You can be certain of a better and happier life after death."

If it was the individual that was a reflection of the circumstances, then it would mean that the individual could not operate in any way that was not in accordance with those circumstances, as one would necessarily have to reflect those circumstances at all times, hence removing one's ability to induce personal change.
Why could it not be both? How come a person isn't contingent on circumstances

Dependence and reflection are two different concepts.  As I said, the individual is dependent upon circumstances in certain ways.  The individual is NOT a reflection of those circumstances as proven by the fact that one's internal state and corresponding actions need not reflect one's external circumstances, or need not be influenced or determined by them.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2014, 05:22:08 PM by VinceField »

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
7 Replies
3213 Views
Last post March 10, 2008, 08:09:10 AM
by Stefan