Conditioning.

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism

Conditioning.

Postby PeterB » Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:59 pm

Psychological and social conditioning. How do you see this in terms of Dhamma ?
Or more to the point perhaps, how do you see its undoing ?
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Conditioning.

Postby alfa » Thu Mar 24, 2011 5:31 pm

Glad you raised this topic, it's very important because I too find it hard to handle this. Conditioning is so deep.

We're conditioned to act in a certain manner. I believe we can break this by surprising ourselves.
alfa
 
Posts: 26
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2011 4:43 pm

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Fede » Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:55 pm

we can examine our thinking.
we can scrutinise our conditioned approach and compare it to the teachings of the eightfold Path.
we can appraise whether the conditioning to which we have been subjected, is skilful or unskilful.
We can then act accordingly to either modify, cease, or augment our conditioning.
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Viscid » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:03 pm

PeterB wrote:Or more to the point perhaps, how do you see its undoing ?


Undoing? As in unconditioning? No such thing. You can recondition: condition yourself to act wholesomely rather than unwholesomely, but that's still conditioning.

Brainwash yourself into being good.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
User avatar
Viscid
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:55 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Jhana4 » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:13 pm

I'm not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV, but I think behaviorists have a concept called "cessation" which I think means that if you remove the reenforcement following an event ( a reward or a punishment ) the conditioning will eventually wear off.

Modern shrinks that can be expedited in people if they change their behavior patterns and honestly change the way they think about a situation ( i.e. not brainwashing ).

Easier said than done!
In reading the scriptures, there are two kinds of mistakes:
One mistake is to cling to the literal text and miss the inner principles.
The second mistake is to recognize the principles but not apply them to your own mind, so that you waste time and just make them into causes of entanglement.
Jhana4
 
Posts: 1309
Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:20 pm
Location: U.S.A., Northeast

Re: Conditioning.

Postby ground » Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:23 pm

Viscid wrote:Undoing? As in unconditioning? No such thing.


I would want to opt for mindfulness.

Kind regards
User avatar
ground
 
Posts: 2592
Joined: Wed Nov 25, 2009 6:01 am

Re: Conditioning.

Postby PeterB » Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:50 pm

Fede wrote:we can examine our thinking.
we can scrutinise our conditioned approach and compare it to the teachings of the eightfold Path.
we can appraise whether the conditioning to which we have been subjected, is skilful or unskilful.
We can then act accordingly to either modify, cease, or augment our conditioning.

:anjali:
PeterB
 
Posts: 3903
Joined: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Ben » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:26 pm

PeterB wrote:Psychological and social conditioning. How do you see this in terms of Dhamma ?

Sankhara
PeterB wrote:Or more to the point perhaps, how do you see its undoing ?

Vipassana

kind regards

Ben
Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725


Compassionate Hands Foundation (Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • Buddhist Global ReliefUNHCR
Buddhist Life Stories of Australia

e: ben.dhammawheel@gmail.com
User avatar
Ben
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16223
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 12:49 am
Location: Land of the sleeping gods

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Viscid » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:49 pm

Jhana4 wrote:I'm not a psychologist, nor do I play one on TV, but I think behaviorists have a concept called "cessation" which I think means that if you remove the reenforcement following an event ( a reward or a punishment ) the conditioning will eventually wear off.

Modern shrinks that can be expedited in people if they change their behavior patterns and honestly change the way they think about a situation ( i.e. not brainwashing ).

Easier said than done!


I suppose I wasn't thinking along the lines of 'classical' conditioning. If we're just talking about stopping a pattern of behaviour, then yeah, there is cessation to that behaviour. However valuing the cessation of that behaviour is a conditioning, and the behaviour following the cessation of that behaviour is conditioned.

As long as we act, there are conditions for those actions. We will always (unless we're fully enlightened I think?) be subject to 'social and psychological conditioning.'

I would want to opt for mindfulness.

Kind regards


Gotta condition yourself to be mindful.
Last edited by Viscid on Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
User avatar
Viscid
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:55 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Fede » Thu Mar 24, 2011 9:50 pm

One Ben trumps an Alex, any day! :thumbsup:
"Samsara: The human condition's heartbreaking inability to sustain contentment." Elizabeth Gilbert, 'Eat, Pray, Love'.

Simplify: 17 into 1 WILL go: Mindfulness!

Quieta movere magna merces videbatur. (Sallust, c.86-c.35 BC)
Translation: Just to stir things up seemed a good reward in itself. ;)

I am sooooo happy - How on earth could I be otherwise?! :D


http://www.armchairadvice.co.uk/relationships/forum/
User avatar
Fede
 
Posts: 1182
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 10:33 pm
Location: The Heart of this "Green & Pleasant Land"...

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Goofaholix » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:00 pm

PeterB wrote:Or more to the point perhaps, how do you see its undoing ?


By realising the Unconditioned.

Short of that all we can do is try to recondition the conditioning, which is good and useful, but just another kind of conditioning.
"Proper effort is not the effort to make something particular happen. It is the effort to be aware and awake each moment." - Ajahn Chah
"When we see beyond self, we no longer cling to happiness. When we stop clinging, we can begin to be happy." - Ajahn Chah
"Know and watch your heart. It’s pure but emotions come to colour it." — Ajahn Chah
User avatar
Goofaholix
 
Posts: 1989
Joined: Sun Nov 15, 2009 3:49 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Goedert » Sat Mar 26, 2011 12:33 am

PeterB wrote:Psychological and social conditioning. How do you see this in terms of Dhamma ?
Or more to the point perhaps, how do you see its undoing ?


I see it as Mamo, Mara, The Evil One.

Escape his helm.
User avatar
Goedert
 
Posts: 312
Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 9:24 pm
Location: SC, Brazil

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Sylvester » Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:46 am

For this simpleton, psychological conditioning is achieved via manasikara (attention) and sociological conditioning via parato ghoso (the voice of another).

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

It appears the Commentaries believe that buddhas are exempt from the 2nd condition...

I think both conditions go hand in hand and cannot be divorced. Of course, certain other conditions would need to be present, eg pliability or malleability of the mind in order for the social conditioning to resonate.

But if a tamable person doesn't submit either to a mild training or to a harsh training or to a mild & harsh training, then the Tathagata doesn't regard him as being worth speaking to or admonishing. His knowledgeable fellows in the holy life don't regard him as being worth speaking to or admonishing. This is what it means to be totally destroyed in the Doctrine & Discipline... AN 4.111
Sylvester
 
Posts: 1550
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 9:57 am

Re: Conditioning.

Postby rowyourboat » Wed Mar 30, 2011 6:44 pm

Everything we know is conditioned (ie arises due to a previously existing condition).
Wholesome acts are conditioned
Mindfulness in conditioned
Consciousness is conditioned
Insight is conditioned

The only unconditoned (not)'thing' is nibbana.

To have an (non)experience of that all conditioned phenomena have to cease- otherwise it would not be named 'asankhatha' or unconditioned.

Nibbana does not arise, caused by something. It is what is left behind (note the reification) when conditioned things cease (nirodha) or more acurately do not arise. It is an 'uncovering' of sorts- like a carpet being lifted away to reveal a large black hole in the ground.

Nibbana is not the result of the noble eightfold path, strictly speaking. The result of the N8FP is the dissolution of samsara, ie the ' going out of the flame' of conditioned things.

With metta

Matheesha
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Conditioning.

Postby kirk5a » Wed Mar 30, 2011 7:50 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Nibbana does not arise, caused by something. It is what is left behind (note the reification) when conditioned things cease (nirodha) or more acurately do not arise. It is an 'uncovering' of sorts- like a carpet being lifted away to reveal a large black hole in the ground.

A black hole! That's a new one. So much for the "luminous mind".

"The other extreme is thinking that nibbāna is some kind of annihilation or black hole."
~Bhikkhu Pesala
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Wor ... rkers.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1784
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Viscid » Wed Mar 30, 2011 8:51 pm

kirk5a wrote:
rowyourboat wrote:Nibbana does not arise, caused by something. It is what is left behind (note the reification) when conditioned things cease (nirodha) or more acurately do not arise. It is an 'uncovering' of sorts- like a carpet being lifted away to reveal a large black hole in the ground.

A black hole! That's a new one. So much for the "luminous mind".

"The other extreme is thinking that nibbāna is some kind of annihilation or black hole."
~Bhikkhu Pesala
http://www.aimwell.org/Books/Pesala/Wor ... rkers.html


I don't think anyone was equating the "luminous mind" with nibbāna, and Matheesha's 'black hole' is not the one you get sucked into never to escape from again, but rather something which is revealed by uncovering and is itself empty.
"What holds attention determines action." - William James
User avatar
Viscid
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:55 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Conditioning.

Postby Nyana » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:24 pm

kirk5a wrote:A black hole! That's a new one. So much for the "luminous mind".

Indeed. Apparently the canonical definition of nibbāna as the elimination of passion, aggression, and delusion isn't good enough.... Of course, this is nothing new. There's a long history of seeking out new and novel definitions of nibbāna in all Buddhist schools. In Metaphor and Literalism in Buddhism: The Doctrinal History of Nirvana, Soonil Hwang states:

    [N]ew etymologies of nirvana seems to have started at the time when the extinction of the triple fires of passion, hatred and delusion was still used and accepted as the definition of nirvana, while its metaphorical structure had started to be forgotten. Without an understanding of its metaphorical structure, the original definition of nirvana could not satisfy later Buddhists, since it did not cover all aspects of their highest goal.

All the best,

Geoff
Nyana
 
Posts: 2227
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:56 am

Re: Conditioning.

Postby daverupa » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:29 pm

I think people forget that nibbana is itself a metaphor; metaphors for nibbana are going even further afield.
    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting oneself one protects others? By the pursuit, development, and cultivation of the four establishments of mindfulness. It is in such a way that by protecting oneself one protects others.

    "And how is it, bhikkhus, that by protecting others one protects oneself? By patience, harmlessness, goodwill, and sympathy. It is in such a way that by protecting others one protects oneself.
- Sedaka Sutta [SN 47.19]
User avatar
daverupa
 
Posts: 4244
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2011 6:58 pm

Re: Conditioning.

Postby rowyourboat » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:48 pm

Well I would like to hear someone explain how the sankhata (fabricated) noble eightfold path, leads to the un-fabricated nibbana. All explanations involving dhammas which are fabricated (ie one or several of the aggreggates) are simply inadequate. :tongue:

The black hole is of course an inadequate metaphor, but a more accurate one than those which involve visible/tangible/discernable objects in a 'place' supposedly beyond the aggregates.. I particularly liked Ron's event horizon+black hole metaphor.

I have heard that on one occasion the Blessed One was staying near Savatthi, in Jeta's Grove, Anathapindika's monastery. Now at that time the Blessed One was instructing urging, rousing, and encouraging the monks with Dhamma-talk concerned with Unbinding. The monks — receptive, attentive, focusing their entire awareness, lending ear — listened to the Dhamma.

Then, on realizing the significance of that, the Blessed One on that occasion exclaimed:

There is that dimension where there is neither earth, nor water, nor fire, nor wind; neither dimension of the infinitude of space, nor dimension of the infinitude of consciousness, nor dimension of nothingness, nor dimension of neither perception nor non-perception; neither this world, nor the next world, nor sun, nor moon. And there, I say, there is neither coming, nor going, nor staying; neither passing away nor arising: unestablished, unevolving, without support (mental object).[1] This, just this, is the end of stress.


With metta

Matheesha

edit: adding quotes
With Metta

Karuna
Mudita
& Upekkha
rowyourboat
 
Posts: 1949
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 5:29 pm
Location: London, UK

Re: Conditioning.

Postby kirk5a » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:26 pm

rowyourboat wrote:Well I would like to hear someone explain how the sankhata (fabricated) noble eightfold path, leads to the un-fabricated nibbana. All explanations involving dhammas which are fabricated (ie one or several of the aggreggates) are simply inadequate. :tongue:

"If a monk abandons passion for the property of form...

"If a monk abandons passion for the property of feeling...

"If a monk abandons passion for the property of perception...

"If a monk abandons passion for the property of fabrications...

"If a monk abandons passion for the property of consciousness, then owing to the abandonment of passion, the support is cut off, and there is no base for consciousness. Consciousness, thus unestablished, not proliferating, not performing any function, is released. Owing to its release, it is steady. Owing to its steadiness, it is contented. Owing to its contentment, it is not agitated. Not agitated, he (the monk) is totally unbound right within. He discerns that 'Birth is ended, the holy life fulfilled, the task done. There is nothing further for this world.'"
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"When one thing is practiced & pursued, ignorance is abandoned, clear knowing arises, the conceit 'I am' is abandoned, latent tendencies are uprooted, fetters are abandoned. Which one thing? Mindfulness immersed in the body." -AN 1.230
User avatar
kirk5a
 
Posts: 1784
Joined: Thu Sep 23, 2010 1:51 pm

Next

Return to General Theravāda discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Yahoo [Bot] and 15 guests