the great rebirth debate

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Spiny Norman » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:33 am

clw_uk wrote:As for Buddhadasa I dont think he "re-wrote" D.O. but simply explained it as it was, nothing he says goes against Dhamma and everything he says is aimed at non-clinging


I do think the "psychological" or "moment-to-moment" interpretation of DO is a major departure from what's described in the suttas because:

1. The nidanas are redefined, eg birth and death are redefined to be psychological rather than physical events as described in the suttas;
2. Conditionality ( paccaya ) is redefined to have the meaning of the nidanas shaping or influencing each other, rather than the nidanas arising in dependence on each other as described by the suttas. "When this is, that is.........when this arise, that arises";
3. Craving and clinging are redefined as exclusively short-term, rather than long-term, habitual tendencies.

I tend to use "psychological" instead of "moment-to-moment" because I think it captures this interpretation better, ie purely psychological as opposed to the traditional view of DO as a psycho-physical process. And of course we all work with aspects of DO moment-to-moment, the difference is about how many nidanas we consider.
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Aug 22, 2013 10:00 am

Seems like this has become the endless clw uk and nowheat debate, not the rebirth debate, do the moderators even care if the discussion stays even vaguely on topic, because from what I can see its way off topic, with few exceptions, like Spiny.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:26 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Seems like this has become the endless clw uk and nowheat debate, not the rebirth debate, do the moderators even care if the discussion stays even vaguely on topic, because from what I can see its way off topic, with few exceptions, like Spiny.



I don't see how it has gone off topic, essentially we are discussing the interpretation of d.o. which ties in with discussions of rebirth

Your post though is off topic, so :focus:
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:40 pm

So why don't you start you're own topic on Dependent origination??
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:41 pm

Sylvester wrote:I'll skip addressing your points in turn and just cut to the chase (assuming this is the crux of your thesis) -

..."what is generated by the view"


Despite not seeing the common thread I would have hoped to see you glean from the Vedic antecedents...

I recall asking you if you saw a common thread -- this seems to suggest that you do. Would you please detail what it is you see as the common thread? It might help me understand what you're talking about when you say:

... I'm prepared to assume that there is at least some sort of Vedic relationship or conviviality to "view" that the Buddha may have sought to address with DA.


I had asked you to consider MN 64 previously, in the context of the formation of personality-view and how that relates to DN 15's delineation of self. Certainly, there's no denying that views do generate consequences, but is a description of DA as being a response to views a complete picture of DA? I say no ...


As do I, given that this makes for a vast oversimplification of an extremely complex thesis (I'm speaking of the Buddha's thesis as being very complex), which starts back before views are generated, with ignorance, and drives, and a consciousness driven, in its ignorance, to seek information, and includes -- as the Buddha points out to Malunkyaputta in the quote of yours repeated below -- the underlying tendencies which precede views. But if the crux of the difference in our views about the lessons the Buddha is teaching is that I am saying that all of what the Buddha is talking about is dukkha that can be addressed by an attitude adjustment (it is psychological stuff, even if its generation comes through the body) and the whole of it is being described as endable in this life, and you're winding your way towards suggesting that dukkha includes physical experiences in which there is no second dart, then, yes, I guess you could squeeze what I'm saying into a nutshell by saying "it's all about views". I don't see greed and hatred, or doubt about teachings or opinions about rules -- or even our tendency to wallow in sensual pleasures -- as being separate from views about who we are and what is good for us.


... and this is where MN 64 comes in. The Buddha is recorded to have been rather dismissive of Ven Malunkyaputta's notion of the Five Fetters. This was what the Buddha said -

. “Malunkyaputta, to whom do you remember my having taught these five lower fetters in that way? Would not the wanderers of other sects confute you with the simile of the infant? For a young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘personality,’ [433] so how could personality view arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to personality view lies within him. A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘teachings,’ so how could doubt about teachings arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to doubt lies within him. A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘rules,’ so how could adherence to rules and observances arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to adhere to rules and observances lies within him. A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘sensual pleasures,’ so how could sensual desire arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to sensual lust lies within him. A young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion ‘beings,’ so how could ill will towards beings arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to ill will lies within him. Would not the wanderers of other sects confute you with this simile of the infant?”

per BB


It's the problem of the underlying tendencies, those sub-conscious defilements that do not necessarily manifest as views, but which still bring about rebirth : SN 12.38. I don't think the DN 15 presentation of the "delineation of self" requires full-blown view, since "naming" can be just a sub-verbal event.

So, I'm struggling to see why you feel that DA is a response to view, when MN 64 suggests that views are not even necessary for the origination of suffering.

What do you deem to be the origination of suffering if one has no views of self?

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:51 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:So why don't you start you're own topic on Dependent origination??



I don't see the need to, at the moment anyway, since d.o. Is tied up with rebirth in the eyes of many people
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:32 pm

clw_uk wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:So why don't you start you're own topic on Dependent origination??



I don't see the need to, at the moment anyway, since d.o. Is tied up with rebirth in the eyes of many people


If there was a separate thread on d.o. that became an argument about rebirth, it'd end up here anyway. It's happened many times before, as these 200+ pages amply show.
    "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]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:53 pm

If we take the buddha at his word, something like .00001% of us are going to achieve full enlightenment and nibbana in this lifetime, that's why the Buddha suggested putting yourself on the path to enlightenment so if you don't make it this lifetime, you can start off in your next lifetime where you left of in this lifetime. Seriously, with out rebirth, 99.99999% of us are doomed, but all these no rebirthers talk about enlightenment like its just around the corner, maybe it seemed that way when the Buddha was alive as a teacher, but not anymore. That's why rebirth is actually just as important to comprehend as Nibbana, because chances are you will never acheive nibbana without being reborn one or several times.
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:10 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:If we take the buddha at his word, something like .00001% of us are going to achieve full enlightenment and nibbana in this lifetime...


I remember the Buddha's word on this topic somewhat differently:

AN 10.95 wrote:"In the same way, the Tathagata isn't concerned with whether all the cosmos or half of it or a third of it will be led to release by means of that [Dhamma]...


All the Buddha describes are the requisite causes (of which rebirth-belief isn't one). He makes no numerical predictions.
    "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]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby lyndon taylor » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:18 pm

Didn't the buddha pick up some sand in his fingernails, and say if this sand under my fingernails represents the enlightened then all the sand of the earth represents the unenlightened, and remember any prediction the Buddha made about enlightenment wasn't only refering to this lifetime but to future lifetimes, rebirth etc
18 years ago I made one of the most important decisions of my life and entered a local Cambodian Buddhist Temple as a temple boy and, for only 3 weeks, an actual Therevada Buddhist monk. I am not a scholar, great meditator, or authority on Buddhism, but Buddhism is something I love from the Bottom of my heart. It has taught me sobriety, morality, peace, and very importantly that my suffering is optional, and doesn't have to run my life. I hope to give back what little I can to the Buddhist community that has so generously given me so much, sincerely former monk John
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:29 pm

Spiny Norman wrote:
clw_uk wrote:As for Buddhadasa I dont think he "re-wrote" D.O. but simply explained it as it was, nothing he says goes against Dhamma and everything he says is aimed at non-clinging


I do think the "psychological" or "moment-to-moment" interpretation of DO is a major departure from what's described in the suttas because:

1. The nidanas are redefined, eg birth and death are redefined to be psychological rather than physical events as described in the suttas;
2. Conditionality ( paccaya ) is redefined to have the meaning of the nidanas shaping or influencing each other, rather than the nidanas arising in dependence on each other as described by the suttas. "When this is, that is.........when this arise, that arises";
3. Craving and clinging are redefined as exclusively short-term, rather than long-term, habitual tendencies.

I tend to use "psychological" instead of "moment-to-moment" because I think it captures this interpretation better, ie purely psychological as opposed to the traditional view of DO as a psycho-physical process. And of course we all work with aspects of DO moment-to-moment, the difference is about how many nidanas we consider.


“moment to moment” is the main thrust of DO. When we look at the early sketches in Suttanipāta of what later became DO, we find a pure ethic of liberation to be experienced in the present. This was the intention discussed well before a nidāna of doctrine had developed.

But I do think that lyndon has a point wrt a new thread. A constructive discussion on DO should be lifted out of this amalgam of DW’s ‘rebirth’ dustbin.
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby daverupa » Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:54 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:Didn't the buddha pick up some sand in his fingernails...


Yes, puthujjana outnumber ariya. But rather than saying "only some will attain it in this life", it seems better to me to say "you can attain it yourself with the right steps".

Often in the suttas, people attain awakening "not long after" going forth. It's a matter of appropriate conditions, not simply a matter of lottery chances.

:heart:

ancientbuddhism wrote:But I do think that lyndon has a point wrt a new thread. A constructive discussion on DO should be lifted out of this amalgam of DW’s ‘rebirth’ dustbin.


One place to continue that discussion: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12369
    "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]
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Thu Aug 22, 2013 4:01 pm

nowheat wrote:In my practice I never experience the birth of the further-back, innate view, because it developed long ago out of a stew that includes what the Buddha calls "an underlying tendency to self-view". I am not sure if we ever get rid of it entirely -- I would only really know this if I were a fully awakened being -- but I am sure we can short-circuit its ill-effects when they start to arise.

Eliminating the underlying tendencies (anusaya) is the key thing. Otherwise, it's like a weed that is cut off, but keeps growing back again and again and again. The underlying tendency to personality view is not eliminated until the first glimpse of nibbana at stream entry.

How this relates to rebirth is that contrary to the naive view which supposes that the infant is born pure and develops self-grasping (ego) through social conditioning, the Buddha said (MN64) the infant already has the underlying tendency to personality view, from which flowers the actual views themselves.
"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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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:24 pm

If we take the buddha at his word, something like .00001% of us are going to achieve full enlightenment and nibbana in this lifetime, that's why the Buddha suggested putting yourself on the path to enlightenment so if you don't make it this lifetime, you can start off in your next lifetime where you left of in this lifetime. Seriously, with out rebirth, 99.99999% of us are doomed,


Where did he say that? I don't remember him saying that everyone will be enlightened

but all these no rebirthers


Please quote where someone has said "there is no rebirth"

What is actually being said, by me anyway, is that Dhamma practice remains the same regardless and that rebirth is not important

talk about enlightenment like its just around the corner, maybe it seemed that way when the Buddha was alive as a teacher, but not anymore. That's why rebirth is actually just as important to comprehend as Nibbana, because chances are you will never acheive nibbana without being reborn one or several times.



Well if you limit yourself from the beginning
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:27 pm

How this relates to rebirth is that contrary to the naive view which supposes that the infant is born pure and develops self-grasping (ego) through social conditioning, the Buddha said (MN64) the infant already has the underlying tendency to personality view, from which flowers the actual views themselves.


Yet here D.O. doesnt kick in until a person is a young child


""Then, as the child grows and his faculties mature, he plays at children's [9] games: toy plows, stick games, somersaults, toy windmills, toy measures, toy carts, and a toy bow & arrow.

"As he grows and his faculties mature [still further], he enjoys himself provided & endowed with the five strings of sensuality: forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, accompanied with sensual desire; sounds cognizable via the ear... aromas cognizable via the nose... flavors cognizable via the tongue... tactile sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, accompanied with sensual desire.

Limited Awareness
"On seeing a form with the eye, he is infatuated with pleasing forms, and gets upset over unpleasing forms. He dwells with body-mindfulness unestablished,[10] with limited awareness. He doesn't discern, as it has come to be, the awareness-release & discernment-release where those evil, unskillful qualities cease without remainder. Engaged thus in compliance & opposition, he relishes any feeling he feels — pleasure, pain, neither-pleasure-nor-pain — welcomes it, & remains fastened to it. As he relishes that feeling, welcomes it, & remains fastened to it, delight arises. Now, any delight in feeling is clinging/sustenance. From his clinging/sustenance as a requisite condition comes becoming. From becoming as a requisite condition comes birth. From birth as a requisite condition, then aging-&-death, sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, and despair come into play. Such is the origination of this entire mass of stress & suffering.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby Aloka » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:04 pm

lyndon taylor wrote:
so if you don't make it this lifetime, you can start off in your next lifetime where you left of in this lifetime.


But what if you're reborn as a worm, lyndon, how will you start where you left off ? ....and while I'm on the subject of worms, this is a talk I really enjoyed :

"Ajahn Amaro - Will I Be Reborn As A Worm"

http://www.amaravati.org/teachings/audio_compilation/2083


:)
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby kirk5a » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:26 pm

clw_uk wrote:Yet here D.O. doesnt kick in until a person is a young child


""Then, as the child grows and his faculties mature, he plays at children's [9] games: toy plows, stick games, somersaults, toy windmills, toy measures, toy carts, and a toy bow & arrow.

"As he grows and his faculties mature [still further], he enjoys himself provided & endowed with the five strings of sensuality: forms cognizable via the eye — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, accompanied with sensual desire; sounds cognizable via the ear... aromas cognizable via the nose... flavors cognizable via the tongue... tactile sensations cognizable via the body — agreeable, pleasing, charming, endearing, enticing, accompanied with sensual desire.

Sure, that shows the manifestation of the underlying tendency towards sensual passion - as the faculties mature. But the underlying tendency itself is in place at birth.

MN64 wrote:For a young tender infant lying prone does not even have the notion 'personality,' so how could personality view arise in him? Yet the underlying tendency to personality view lies within him.
"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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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby nowheat » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:32 pm

clw_uk wrote:
lyndon taylor wrote:Seems like this has become the endless clw uk and nowheat debate, not the rebirth debate, do the moderators even care if the discussion stays even vaguely on topic, because from what I can see its way off topic, with few exceptions, like Spiny.

I don't see how it has gone off topic, essentially we are discussing the interpretation of d.o. which ties in with discussions of rebirth

lyndon taylor wrote:So why don't you start you're own topic on Dependent origination??

daverupa wrote:If there was a separate thread on d.o. that became an argument about rebirth, it'd end up here anyway. It's happened many times before, as these 200+ pages amply show.

daverupa wrote:
ancientbuddhism wrote:But I do think that lyndon has a point wrt a new thread. A constructive discussion on DO should be lifted out of this amalgam of DW’s ‘rebirth’ dustbin.


One place to continue that discussion: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12369

In general this thread seems to have two main debates: (1) there is rebirth vs there is no rebirth (sometimes with "vs it doesn't matter" thrown in) and (2) the Buddha taught literal rebirth as being the cosmic order vs the Buddha did not teach literal rebirth as being the cosmic order.

Since I am very specifically arguing that the Buddha did not use mentions of rebirth as a way of teaching that literal rebirth is the cosmic order, this seemed the right place to carry on the discussion. My thesis is twofold: that we have misunderstood what the Buddha is doing with his mentions of rebirth because we have not understood the way the Buddha uses language throughout the canon, and that the other reason for the misunderstanding is because we haven't understood what dependent arising is, if it's not endorsing a view of the cosmic order. I am suggesting that what he is describing in DA shows that beliefs about rebirth are part of the problem, really, rather than being the solution.

I honestly don't mind at all where this debate ends up so long as -- if it gets moved to some thread on another subject -- in my arguments, in that thread, I don't get told I can't talk about "the Buddha didn't teach literal rebirth" there because we have a "rebirth thread" for that. Or, if we're in the suggested thread, "Understanding Dependent Origination" and I start arguing about how the Buddha is using language when he talks about nutriment, or impermanence, or other subjects, he is using that specific style, I don't get shut down because it doesn't directly apply to the topic.

Seems our problem here is one of emptiness -- we're trying to force into categorical boxes things that don't have an inherent nature. Ideas like these are not so easily confined, especially since the underlying structure of the Buddha's talks really does cause almost everything he says to be related to everything else.

On the other hand, I am sympathetic to lyndon's frustration with the domination of one subject and a few people in a thread where he perhaps wants to talk about something else. I've encountered a similar situation here myself, before, and my solution is to just go away for a while and come back when it gets very quiet around here; that makes for a great moment to bring up whatever you want to talk about.


:namaste:
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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby ancientbuddhism » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:10 pm

nowheat wrote:My thesis is twofold: that we have misunderstood what the Buddha is doing with his mentions of rebirth because we have not understood the way the Buddha uses language throughout the canon, and that the other reason for the misunderstanding is because we haven't understood what dependent arising is, if it's not endorsing a view of the cosmic order...


I could have missed something, but where have you actually shown a text-critical analysis of 'the way the Buddha uses language', pointing to parallels or 'linguistic echos', as Norman/Gombrich would show, in the Vedas or Upaniṣads, to support your 'thesis'?

Otherwise, you could post here again in this or that thread, today or months later, and the discussion still remains circular.
Fingers walk the darkness down
Mind is on the midnight
Gather up the gold you've found
You fool, it's only moonlight.
If you try to take it home
Your hands will turn to butter
You better leave this dream alone
Try to find another. – Townes Van Zandt ‘Lungs’

Secure your own mask before assisting others. – NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Pre-Flight Instruction)

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Re: the great rebirth debate

Postby clw_uk » Thu Aug 22, 2013 8:28 pm

Sure, that shows the manifestation of the underlying tendency towards sensual passion - as the faculties mature. But the underlying tendency itself is in place at birth.


I agree
“ Your mind is likewise blocked. But the right road awaits you still. Cast out your doubts, your fears and your desires, let go of grief and of hope as well, for where these rule , then the mind is their subject." Boetius
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