Ancient texts relevant to modern life?

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Ancient texts relevant to modern life?

Postby Jhana4 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 7:55 pm

*MOD NOTE*

This thread has been split from the To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat by S. Dhammika thread...

viewtopic.php?f=31&t=7280

:anjali:


I wonder about the value of books such as these.

People adjust their religious views to fit their deep habits. I think this is particularly true in the west where Buddhism is new and people pick and choose what they like out of it. I don't think anyone who is dead set against a vegan diet would change their mind if a Buddhist text prescribed it. Look at all of the yoga fans and meditators who drink.

There are so many vital issues surrounding dietary choice in the year 2011 that I think it is a bit narrow minded to make a choice to not go vegan based solely on some old religious text made for a world that no longer exists.

For those who are interested, you can find out what those issues are by reading this online booklet or ordering a free hard copy ( no gory pictures, just arguments ):

TryVeg.com
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.
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Re: To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat by S. Dhammika

Postby cooran » Sat Feb 12, 2011 8:57 pm

Jhana4 said: I think it is a bit narrow minded to make a choice to not go vegan based solely on some old religious text made for a world that no longer exists.


Would you care to expand on ''some old religious text made for a world that no longer exists'' ? I'm not sure I understand just which texts you are referring to.

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Chris
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Re: To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat by S. Dhammika

Postby Jhana4 » Sat Feb 12, 2011 9:22 pm

cooran wrote:
Jhana4 said: I think it is a bit narrow minded to make a choice to not go vegan based solely on some old religious text made for a world that no longer exists.


Would you care to expand on ''some old religious text made for a world that no longer exists'' ? I'm not sure I understand just which texts you are referring to.
with metta
Chris


Chris, I am referring to all of the religious texts of all of the major religions, Buddhism included, as those texts tend to be thousands of years old. The environments of the authors of those texts no longer exists. Putting insights into human nature that *some* of those texts have aside, those texts are dealing with issues that no longer exist and don't deal with issues that modern people face.
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.
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Re: To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat by S. Dhammika

Postby m0rl0ck » Sun Feb 13, 2011 1:15 am

Jhana4 wrote:
Chris, I am referring to all of the religious texts of all of the major religions, Buddhism included, as those texts tend to be thousands of years old. The environments of the authors of those texts no longer exists. Putting insights into human nature that *some* of those texts have aside, those texts are dealing with issues that no longer exist and don't deal with issues that modern people face.


Yeah if those books didnt have something to say people wouldnt still be reading them. You are right as well about the environments those books were written in being different from ours. Its even more important today to restrict meat in ones diet given the scarcity of resources, industrial contamination of the top of the food chain, and the cruelties and production methods of factory farms.
EDIT: Note to the casual reader; If this post doesnt make any sense in the context of this thread, its because it wasnt originally in this thread but was moved here by forces beyond my control.
Last edited by m0rl0ck on Mon Feb 14, 2011 1:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat by S. Dhammika

Postby alan » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:39 am

Jhana4:
Don't get what you are trying to say. Major religious texts "tend" to be thousands of years old? No, they ARE thousands of years old. But so what? You said "Putting insights...into human nature aside"...these texts are dealing issues that no longer exist". Don't get that.
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Re: To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat by S. Dhammika

Postby Jhana4 » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:01 pm

alan wrote:Jhana4:
these texts are dealing issues that no longer exist". Don't get that.


There is that point and the point that those texts are also not dealing with issues that do exist in a modern world. The post above yours gives some examples.

Because the world was different 2500 - 6000 years ago religious texts written in those times contain some content that is useless to the world we live in thousands of years of later. Religious texts are a mixture of myth, philosophy and prescriptions. All of which are influenced by the times they were written in. Some of the content is still useful because it deals with human beings, other content is obsolete and archaic.

For example, one of the 8 ( or is it 12? ) precepts of Theravada monks is that they don't wear makeup and jewelry. How many men in modern Asia do that? Do you think if Buddhism formed today in 2011 that precept would be included versus something more fitting to our world like "the bhikku shall refrain from more than 4 hours a day web surfing"?

The texts of those times were written for those times.

So, getting back to my original point, it is not very smart to make a decision about a dietary habit that is a function of our modern era based on what is omitted from a religious text written over 2500 years ago for an environment that didn't have our issues.
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.
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Re: To Eat Meat or Not to Eat Meat by S. Dhammika

Postby bodom » Sun Feb 13, 2011 2:07 pm

Jhana4 wrote:
alan wrote:Jhana4:
these texts are dealing issues that no longer exist". Don't get that.


There is that point and the point that those texts are also not dealing with issues that do exist in a modern world...


The Dhamma is not found 'within' the texts. It is not restricted to mere words in the texts. It is not 'the' way, it merely 'points' the way.It is timeless.

As is said, "The Dhamma is visible here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves."

Sanditthika Sutta: Visible Here-&-Now

Then Moliyasivaka the wanderer went to the Blessed One and exchanged courteous greetings with him. After an exchange of friendly greetings & courtesies, he sat to one side. As he was sitting there, he said to the Blessed One, "'The Dhamma is visible here-&-now, the Dhamma is visible here-&-now,' it is said. To what extent is the Dhamma visible here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves?"

"Very well, then, Sivaka, I will ask you a question in return. Answer as you see fit. What do you think: When greed is present within you, do you discern that 'Greed is present within me'? And when greed is not present within you, do you discern that 'Greed is not present within me'?"

"Yes, lord."

"The fact that when greed is present within you, you discern that greed is present within you; and when greed is not present within you, you discern that greed is not present within you: that is one way in which the Dhamma is visible in the here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves.

"What do you think: When aversion is present within you... When delusion is present within you... When a greedy quality[1] is present within you... When an aversive quality is present within you...

"What do you think: When a delusive quality is present within you, do you discern that 'A delusive quality is present within me'? And when a delusive quality is not present within you, do you discern that 'A delusive quality is not present within me'?"

"Yes, lord."

"The fact that when a delusive quality is present within you, you discern that a delusive quality is present within you; and when a delusive quality is not present within you, you discern that a delusive quality is not present within you: that is one way in which the Dhamma is visible in the here-&-now, timeless, inviting verification, pertinent, to be realized by the wise for themselves."

"Magnificent, lord! Magnificent! Just as if he were to place upright what was overturned, to reveal what was hidden, to show the way to one who was lost, or to carry a lamp into the dark so that those with eyes could see forms, in the same way the has Blessed One — through many lines of reasoning — made the Dhamma clear. I go to the Blessed One for refuge, to the Dhamma, and to the Community of monks. May the Blessed One remember me as a lay follower who has gone to him for refuge, from this day forward, for life."


:namaste:
The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice. Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing. Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this - just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. - Ajahn Chah
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Re: Ancient texts relevant to modern life?

Postby A_Martin » Thu Feb 17, 2011 10:28 am

Hello bodom
well said. Dhamma is timeless, the kilesas of greed hate and delusion are timeless. They do not change. Just in our time they find new playgrounds!
Anyway the question of eating meat or being a vegetarian is as old as the Buddhist texts. Once Devadatta announced to the Lord Buddha, that all monks should only eat vegetarian food. In short the Lord Buddha rejected his proposition. (Maybe someone knows this passage)
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