Is morality purified by the self or others?

General discussion of issues related to Theravada Training of Sila, the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).

Is morality purified by the self or others?

Postby Individual » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:18 pm

From the Dhammapada:

http://www.serve.com/cmtan/Dhammapada/self.html
Oneself, indeed, is one's saviour, for what other saviour would there be? With oneself well controlled one obtains a saviour difficult to find.

By oneself alone is evil done; it is self-born, it is self-caused. Evil grinds the unwise as a diamond grinds a hard gem.


From SN 45:

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
Admirable friendship... is actually the whole of the holy life. When a monk has admirable people as friends... he can be expected to develop & pursue the Noble Eightfold Path.


How can these both be true? Is morality purified by one's own effort, or by the external environment (by having the right social connections, the right friendship, birth in the right society)?
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Is morality purified by the self or others?

Postby Cittasanto » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:30 pm

It is ones own effort to engage in wise things, friendship is part of that and engaging with unwholesome people and being the odd one out makes it less likely that you will stick to the path due to peer pressure and fitting in with the croud.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
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Re: Is morality purified by the self or others?

Postby Individual » Sun Jun 21, 2009 9:56 pm

Yes, but which comes first: The chicken or the egg?
The best things in life aren't things.

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Re: Is morality purified by the self or others?

Postby cooran » Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:03 pm

Hello Individual,

This might be of interest:

6. Right Effort
Right effort can be seen as a prerequisite for the other principles of the path. Without effort, which is in itself an act of will, nothing can be achieved, whereas misguided effort distracts the mind from its task, and confusion will be the consequence. Mental energy is the force behind right effort; it can occur in either wholesome or unwholesome states. The same type of energy that fuels desire, envy, aggression, and violence can on the other side fuel self-discipline, honesty, benevolence, and kindness. Right effort is detailed in four types of endeavours that rank in ascending order of perfection: 1. to prevent the arising of unarisen unwholesome states, 2. to abandon unwholesome states that have already arisen, 3. to arouse wholesome states that have not yet arisen, and 4. to maintain and perfect wholesome states already arisen.
http://www.thebigview.com/buddhism/eightfoldpath.html

metta
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Re: Is morality purified by the self or others?

Postby David N. Snyder » Sun Jun 21, 2009 10:42 pm

Individual wrote:Yes, but which comes first: The chicken or the egg?


The egg. :tongue:
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Re: Is morality purified by the self or others?

Postby Jechbi » Sun Jun 21, 2009 11:38 pm

Individual wrote:Yes, but which comes first: The chicken or the egg?

Read further in the sutta you referenced:
And how does a monk who has admirable people as friends, companions, & comrades, develop & pursue the noble eightfold path? There is the case where a monk develops right view dependent on seclusion, dependent on dispassion, dependent on cessation, resulting in relinquishment. ...

-snip-

It is in dependence on me as an admirable friend that beings subject to birth have gained release from birth, that beings subject to aging have gained release from aging, that beings subject to death have gained release from death, that beings subject to sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair have gained release from sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair. It is through this line of reasoning that one may know how admirable friendship, admirable companionship, admirable camaraderie is actually the whole of the holy life

It's not a question of which one comes first. It's a question of kamma and anatta.
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Is morality purified by the self or others?

Postby tiltbillings » Mon Jun 22, 2009 12:46 am

TheDhamma wrote:
Individual wrote:Yes, but which comes first: The chicken or the egg?


The egg. :tongue:


A chicken is an egg's way of having another egg.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: Is morality purified by the self or others?

Postby Ben » Mon Jun 22, 2009 3:19 am

tiltbillings wrote:
TheDhamma wrote:
Individual wrote:Yes, but which comes first: The chicken or the egg?


The egg. :tongue:


A chicken is an egg's way of having another egg.


Thanks for the eggistentialism, but let's try and get back to topic!

Metta

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Re: Is morality purified by the self or others?

Postby Jechbi » Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:28 am

from here

On a certain occasion, the Exalted One was dwelling in the Sumbha country, in a township of the Sumbhas, called Sedaka. There the Exalted One addressed the monks:

"Once upon a time, monks, a bamboo-acrobat set up his pole and called to his pupil, Medakathaalika, saying: 'Come, my lad, Medakathaalika, climb the pole and stand on my shoulders!'

"'All right, master,' replied the pupil to the bamboo-acrobat, climbed the pole and stood on his master's shoulder. Then, monks, the bamboo-acrobat said to his pupil: 'Now, Medakathaalika, my lad, you protect me well and I shall protect you. Thus warded and watched by each other, we will show our tricks, get a good fee and come down safe from the bamboo-pole.'

"At these words Medakathaalika the pupil said to the bamboo-acrobat: 'No, no! That won't do, master! You look after yourself, master, and I'll look after myself. Thus warded and watched each by himself, we'll show our tricks, get a good fee and come down safe from the bamboo-pole.'

"Therein that is the right way," — said the Exalted One. "Just as Medakathaalika the pupil said to his master: 'I'll protect myself': so, monks, should the Foundations of Mindfulness be practiced. 'I'll protect others': so should the Foundations of Mindfulness be practiced. Protecting oneself, monks, one protects others; protecting others, one protects oneself. 77

"And how, monks, does one, in protecting oneself, protect others? By frequent practice, development and making-much-of (the Foundations of Mindfulness). Thus, monks, in protecting oneself one protects others.78

"And how, monks, does one, in protecting others, protect oneself? By forbearance, by non-violence, by loving-kindness, by compassion. Thus, monks, in protecting others, one protects oneself.79

"'I shall protect myself': with this intention, monks, the Foundations of Mindfulness should be practiced. 'I shall protect others': with this intention the Foundations of Mindfulness should be practiced. Protecting oneself, one protects others: protecting others, one protects oneself."

— SN 47.19
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: Is morality purified by the self or others?

Postby Ngawang Drolma. » Mon Jun 22, 2009 6:39 am

Ben wrote:
Thanks for the eggistentialism, but let's try and get back to topic!

Metta

Ben


:lol:
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