Nature or nurture? Dhamma or kamma?

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Nature or nurture? Dhamma or kamma?

Postby Element » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:02 pm

Dear Forum,

In the Samyutta Nikaya there is a group of discourses, amongst others, which refer to the arising & coming together of things due to elements.

This lends me to ask the following questions for investigation, by either reasoning or direct insight:

    "Do all things arise due to our actions or do they arise due to natural arising?"

    "Do only some things arise due to our actions and other things arise due to natural arising?"

I suppose this is the old scientific debate about nature and nurture. For example, we may possess sexual lust, affection or attraction. Does this sexuality occur due to actions we have performed (kamma) or due to an inherent natural tendency (anusaya)? For example, do we sense our sexuality is something we wished for or rather something thrust or forced upon us by nature?

Do the more subtle experiences of life, such as perception, being consciousness or breathing, arise from kamma or arise naturally?

These are some questions for consideration.

Kind regards,

Element

Bhikkhus, in dependence on an element there arises a perception, there arises a view, there arises a thought.

SN 14.13


Bhikkhus, sensual thoughts arise with a source, not without a source; thought of ill will arises with a source, not without a source; thought of harming arises with a source, not without a source. And how is this so?

In dependence on the sensuality element there arises sensual perception; in dependence on the sensual perception there arises sensual intention; in dependence on the sensual intention there arises sensual desire; in dependence on the sensual desire there arises sensual passion; in dependence on the sensual passion there arises a sensual quest. Engaged in a sensual quest, the uninstructed worldling conducts himself wrongly in three ways - with body, speech and mind.

In dependence on the ill will element there arises perception of ill will...

In dependence on the cruelty element there arises perception of harming...

In dependence on the renunciation element there arises perception of renunciation...

In dependence on the non-ill will element there arises perception of non-ill will...

In dependence on the harmlessness element there arises perception of harmlessness. In dependence on the perception of harmlessness there arises intention of harmlessness; in dependence on intention of harmlessness there arises desire for harmlessness; in dependence on desire for harmlessness there arises passion for harmlessness; in dependence on passion for harmlessness there arises a sensual quest. Engaged in a quest for harmlessness, the instructed noble disciple conducts himself rightly in three ways - with body, speech and mind.

SN 14.12
Last edited by Element on Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Element
 

Re: Perception and its arising in the Samyutta Nikaya

Postby gavesako » Tue Jan 20, 2009 8:09 pm

"Element" (dhatu) can here perhaps be better understood as "category", i.e. the fact that there is such a thing as ...
Bhikkhu Gavesako
Kiṃkusalagavesī anuttaraṃ santivarapadaṃ pariyesamāno... (MN 26)

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