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Actors go to Hell? - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Actors go to Hell?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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octathlon
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby octathlon » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:28 am

If anything, this is more relevant today, not less. The art forms are now much more sophisticated and even better at manipulating and evoking the emotions and passions. Plus some of the actors we have now -- political talk show hosts -- generate huge amounts of delusion, fear, and outrage in their audience, who get addicted to it and keep tuning in for more, and spreading it to others. It's easy to see this behavior leading to hell.

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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:22 am

I would take issue with the generalization that theatre, in all forms, serves only to increase the veils of delusion in others, or to stir up emotional tempests. That's simply an inaccurate statement. Theatre over the ages has served different functions (depending on what genre we're talking about). In some cases, as with medieval morality plays, it was designed to teach lessons of virtue and vice. I think it was Samuel Johnson who said the purpose of theatre was to "entertain and instruct".

In ancient Greece, it provided a means for viewing existential problems with discernment. Aristotle argued that the function of drama was to help people become less entrapped by their emotions and better understand reality. Theatrical "catharsis" refers to a kind of purifying or cleansing (this is what the word "catharsis" literally means) which enables clear reflection to take place. In the modern period, Berthold Brecht said that theatre can have a distancing effect which strips away the fantasies that reinforce the existing power structures and allows people to look at society with a critical/dispassionate eye.

To put Shakespeare, Chekhov and Euripides in the same boat as Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck seems to me like a gross oversimplification. The goals of serious theater are directly opposite to that kind of demagoguery.

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octathlon
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby octathlon » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:05 am


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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:18 am


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Jason
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby Jason » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:32 am

"Sabbe dhamma nalam abhinivesaya" ().

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octathlon
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby octathlon » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:42 am

Chekov is pre-TV and movies. Before the modern forms of entertainment I'm talking about.

My opinion is posted above where it can be read as many times as necessary until it becomes obvious that I didn't equate movies and theatre with political talk show hosts. But I did say that both of those evoke emotions.

To clarify: I said we EVEN have these talk show hosts. As in: Not only are the movies nowadays really good at evoking the emotions and passions (which BTW is what they are designed to do after all), but we even have these other actors/talk show hosts who evoke really strong negative emotions in their audience. I hope that is clear now.

pulga
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby pulga » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:29 am

"The ripening of action, monks, is unthinkable, should not be thought; for one thinking (it) would come to madness and distraction." Aiv, vii, 8

But how much of what is contained in the Suttas is put into jeopardy by that admonishment?

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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby Lazy_eye » Thu Dec 16, 2010 4:30 am


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octathlon
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby octathlon » Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:02 am


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cooran
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby cooran » Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:51 am

---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Annapurna
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:06 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby Annapurna » Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:20 pm

http://www.schmuckzauberei.blogspot.com/

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adosa
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby adosa » Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:30 pm

"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

Hoo
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby Hoo » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:03 pm

No one asked for my view, so here it is anyway - chuckle. I did years as a musician, did a tiny bit of acting, and eventually grew to be a media artist as my preferred expression of the "artistic compulsion." :) So I guess I get to pick my hells out of the many that are available to me.??

It's been hinted several times, if not said outright, that the arts are like anything else. It is their use that makes them wholesome or unwholesome, conducive to the goal or to distraction, etc. If an actor stands on a stage, uttering lines that she has learned, to no audience, in what way is she distracting others from the path? Is she stepping off the path herself? And who are we to make that judgement. The artist usually has an urge related to his/her art...to compose, perform, create or interpret, for example. That urge is no different than the urge to eat. We can eat, speak, act, etc., mindfully or not.

The other point the Buddha made seems to agree with this. He commented that the actor that believes he is going to the land of laughing Devas by his acting is expressing Wrong View - and it is Wrong View that leads to Hell.

And what of the audience? Are the audiences any less kamma-inflicted than the performers - they choose to go and escape from reality, through the laughter, distraction, etc.

JMHO, but art is not wrong livelihood. Viewing art is not wrong action. What we do with that can be "Right or Wrong," but that is our choice, just like anything else.

These are just my views, so feel free to take them with a grain of salt or dismiss them entirely :)

Who, having trouble remembering my name today ;)

pulga
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby pulga » Thu Dec 16, 2010 3:44 pm


Individual
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby Individual » Fri Dec 17, 2010 2:09 pm

I remembered the monk's name I mentioned. Ven. Dhammika.

Interesting blog here, relevant to this topic:
http://sdhammika.blogspot.com/2009/01/elephant-man.html
The best things in life aren't things.


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clw_uk
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby clw_uk » Fri Dec 17, 2010 9:52 pm

It seems to me that the sutta is teaching against getting lost in sensual desire, rather than a "hell of laughter"
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Jechbi
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby Jechbi » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:31 pm


PeterB
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby PeterB » Tue Feb 15, 2011 4:39 pm

I would agree completely Jechbi.

rowyourboat
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Re: Actors go to Hell?

Postby rowyourboat » Tue Feb 15, 2011 5:18 pm

I'm just surprised that lobha, Sosa, moha (greed, aversion, delusion) as the roots of karma, has not been clearly stated in this thread. If anyone acts out of these, bad karma results, in their absence good karma results. All we need to do in doubtful situations is to consider which of these karmic roots gave rise to performing a certain act.

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