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Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness - Page 2 - Dhamma Wheel

Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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kirk5a
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby kirk5a » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:34 pm

"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

norman
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby norman » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:42 am

More like four actually. I'm not really clear whether it's helpful to define yourself in any way though - except perhaps as a 'work in progress'.
The problem with definition as I see it is that you end up trying to judge if you fit the 'rules' to be a member of the club - but working from written rules seems to lead to possible dogmatism and intolerance - and maybe bizarre behaviour based on misreadings or corrupt documentation. Rather than starting from clear view it seems to start from a need to build a permanent self who somehow has to be made to fit some model and be rewarded with enlightenment!

Just to add - I don't find a reference to abstaining from alcohol in these texts on Right Action:




I think one must make one's own decisions: the general principle of sila seem good to me, helping the community to live well, not building up memories of wrong-doing that would plague the here and now... and probably make concentration more difficult.

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kirk5a
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby kirk5a » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:24 pm

"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

norman
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby norman » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:07 pm

Fair point. I think these precepts are (should be) freely entered into, and I suppose individuals will differ as to how many or which they will (try to) adhere to.
My sceptical approach is to try to follow the eightfold path in a straightforward way and try not to hold opinions on anything that I cannot see clearly here and now. I do this not in order to obey the Buddha as an authority figure, but because my own small trials of it lead me to some trust of it. For me I can only go ahead (if that is the right way to put it) by telling myself the truth as seen here and now and not trying to make beliefs by auto-suggestion. I have no evidence of what may happen after I die - and thus no fear of any consequences after I die (though there are obvious consequences of actions within this life, and like a lot of us I have some fear of the process leading to death). That doesn't stop me considering a whole set of future possibilities as vanishingly unlikely based on present evidence (not what I have been told or read): going to heaven/hell, reincarnation, and in fact any continuation after death. I don't find this depressing at all - as Seneca says - consider this self as a loan - just give it back in effect at death and be thankful for having been 'given' it. If a few small glasses of wine per week makes you mentally deranged, I might suspect other non-wine causes!

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kirk5a
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby kirk5a » Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:14 pm

If you're going to approach it that way, there's nothing stopping you or anyone from conducting a "trial" of not drinking alcohol and seeing what comes of it here and now. I would say 1 month of total abstinence at a minimum will probably reveal a few clearly visible things. :stirthepot:
"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

norman
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby norman » Wed Mar 27, 2013 9:03 pm

Actually... that's a great idea! I like a challenge. Whereas the first four precepts are clearly pointing at avoiding gross wrong-doing, the 5th - though done to excess would lead to bad results - is a bit different: minor consumption is not harmful I think, but to follow the precept literally could give a good opportunity for reflection! In this way I would categorise it with precept 6. Not right now though (OK - cop out... birthdays etc) but from the next full moon (25th Apr) to 24th May... We'll see - should be interesting!

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kirk5a
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby kirk5a » Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:39 pm

"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

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Nyorai
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby Nyorai » Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:29 am

ImageTo become vegetarian is to step into the stream which leads to nirvana.
If you light a lamp for somebody, it will also brighten your path. He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self.Image

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ground
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby ground » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:57 am


norman
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby norman » Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:01 am

We'll have to disagree on that one, ground.
For example, doubt (though I think it applies to the others too): I would say doubt does not need to be labelled 'bad' or 'good' - it just exists. It should not be the subject of aversion which just adds another layer of problems. To need aversion to be there to be able to gather enough energy to tackle issues is itself a problem...

I have heard the metaphor of 'using a thorn to extract a thorn' (not sure where that comes from) - but I think this is only useful in more positive situations - for example to want to follow the path is a prime mover for starting to follow the path (though I'd assume that later on even this want would be let go of).

Doubt about the 'teachings' to me is a good approach because it leads to a need to test the teachings for oneself - and if the test reveals the teachings as true (not judged true but seen directly as true) then the doubt about those teachings disappears for itself immediately. Doubt about oneself (for example - is my meditation getting anywhere?) I think is also useful and leads to a dispassionate and honest look at oneself - and maybe change or increased understanding (for example - meditating to 'get somewhere' isn't useful - meditating - 'being there' - perhaps is).

Just to add - kirk5a's signature seems to me to sum it all up perfectly (and can be tested by any one of us directly):
"When one thing is practised & 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

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ground
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby ground » Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:13 am


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daverupa
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby daverupa » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:55 am

Aversion is unwholesome, but can be noticed by sati without engendering more aversion. This is observation without judgment, or bare awareness. Thereupon right effort can come to the fore, applying metta or uppekha or other antidotes as appropriate. But the intention can never be right intention if it is rooted in aversion.

Using a thorn to extract a thorn may refer to using conceit to be rid of conceit, or using desire to be rid of desire. These are attested approaches, while using aversion to uproot aversion is definitively said to never work, in a number of places.

:heart:

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ground
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby ground » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:51 am


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ground
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby ground » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:19 am


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daverupa
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby daverupa » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:10 am


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ground
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby ground » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:19 am


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ground
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby ground » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:33 am


norman
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby norman » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:37 am

Just to be clear: I would define aversion as 'strong dislike'

Living in society there are conventions that we (hopefully) are brought up with - for example a strong dislike of acts of cruelty. On a conventional level these are valuable as they act as an emotional check on behaviour which is destructive (and would be bad for the survival of the species).

I think though that this aversion can be a block to understanding oneself, and can lead to very destructive behaviour - for example taking revenge for an act of cruelty done against someone in one's community (and civil wars seem to be specially nasty in this respect). Aversion carries in its wake blind anger.

So on a conventional level it is good that we have these inbuilt emotional checks against doing wrong - but I think that following the Buddha's path has the potential to change things at their root: for example a destructive thought arises, and instead of identifying with it perhaps one can fearlessly see it just as a thought (not-self) which arises, and inevitably will eventually disappear. Aversion towards any thought (or emotion) makes a 'me with aversion' - which may arise and in the same way is just noted as 'aversion arisen' which in its turn is not-self and will disappear. In neither case is the event made 'mine' as some sort of tool to get something done. To feel aversion towards the aversion is to be caught in an endless cycle - maybe only broken by simply concentrating on the breath. To me following the path involves some trust - to try out what the Buddha recommended in a few main suttas (Dhammacakkappavattana, Satipaṭṭhāna) in the spirit of exploration - not treating them as dogma, and when fear arises (perhaps when seeing some of the contents of one's own mind) knowing that there is a large community that has followed and is following this path - so not to fear harm if honestly practised.

Perhaps it is possible instead to feel metta towards aversion - as not-self - after all can we not in some way feel at least pity towards a tyrant caught in a cycle of bad behaviour (I don't know)? That is not to condone it or rule out action on a conventional level of course.

binocular
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:31 pm


binocular
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Re: Suffering, revulsion, loathsomeness

Postby binocular » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:32 pm



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