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Helping Sentient Beings? - Dhamma Wheel

Helping Sentient Beings?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
aumbrock
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Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby aumbrock » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:38 am

A question arose in my mind after caring for several crickets my roommate is keeping in his room to (eventually) feed to his pet lizard. I had noticed they were not eating the specified "cricket food" my roommate put in their aquarium, and with no alternative sources for food or water, several had subsequently died. I brought the remaining little guys leaves and water soaked in a paper towel and all of them almost immediately began eating and drinking! I imagined they were pretty happy. So my question is this: Does taking a sentient being, insect or otherwise, away from otherwise hostile conditions (in nature, or in this case already in captivity) and giving them optimal conditions ultimately help them towards obtaining rebirth as a higher form? My guess is that in this case, it would- but if I were to take a sentient being from a harmful situation in nature away from that harm and give it optimal causes and conditions for happiness, is that really a good thing or should nature "run its course?" Can we, as conscious beings, really intervene and assist other less-conscious beings on their path? Or do beings need to suffer at the hand of nature to evolve in consciousness? Thanks for your input! :namaste:

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Dan74
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Feb 16, 2010 2:11 am

As a wild guess, I would say that this sort of questioning is pretty speculative and what the Buddha advised against.

Instead just caring and paying attention, helping out where you can and being there with it when you can't, is the best approach and I suspect will be best for the crickets too.

_/|\_
_/|\_

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appicchato
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby appicchato » Tue Feb 16, 2010 3:03 am

I would agree with Dan...if a living being can be helped, help...not just 'stand by...'

ps. I believe in this case it's a terrarium...not aquarium... :smile:

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baratgab
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby baratgab » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:17 pm

"Just as in the great ocean there is but one taste — the taste of salt — so in this Doctrine and Discipline there is but one taste — the taste of freedom"

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appicchato
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby appicchato » Tue Feb 16, 2010 1:24 pm


aumbrock
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby aumbrock » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:16 am

Thanks for the replies. I know this instance is very speculative and may seem unimportant when contrasted with all the "human issues" we are facing now, but as I see it, the intention with which we interact with all beings - even in the smaller ways - ripples out into greater effects through time, especially when you apply that ripple theory to how our intentions change through our interactions. That is why I feel nothing should be left out in noticing how and why we relate to others sharing this system of life. It could be crickets now, but maybe a species facing extinction tomorrow. Almost undoubtedly our role here towards other species will evolve as our consciousness evolves...

aumbrock
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby aumbrock » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:25 am


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retrofuturist
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:28 am

Greetings aumbrock,

What you say is, by and large, pretty accurate.

Just be careful not to turn this "ripple theory" into some sort of metaphysical hocus pocus.

Better to stick with what the Buddha taught, and what can be observed here-and-now... namely that wholesome mindstates (generosity, lovingkindness, wisdom) are conducive to pleasant results, and that unwholesome mindstates (greed, aversion, delusion) are conducive to unpleasant results.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Dan74
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby Dan74 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 3:52 am

_/|\_

aumbrock
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby aumbrock » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:10 am

Thank you for the advice. My mind certainly does love to try to capture nature and reality into worded concepts and theories for purposes of intellectual understanding or interpretation, which perhaps can lead my attention away from the formless, unexplainable present. Although, dhamma as the Buddha taught is formed and conditioned to lead to the formless, unconditioned. As depeche mode put it, "words are very unnecessary, they can only do harm..." haha :thanks: :heart:

Clueless Git
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby Clueless Git » Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:12 am


Stuart
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Re: Helping Sentient Beings?

Postby Stuart » Sun Mar 07, 2010 7:22 pm



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