Buddhism and apathy?

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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nrose619
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Buddhism and apathy?

Postby nrose619 » Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:48 pm

One of my friends studies Buddhism for a world religions class he is taking, and when we were conversing he mentioned Buddhism often pointed to signs of apathy ( lack of feeling or emotion/lack of interest or concern) I said this is not always the case since Buddhism often advocates the virtues of compassion, understanding, and unity. What do you all think of this? :anjali:

many thanks,
-Nick
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flies over the autumn lake.
When it has passed,
the lake's surface does not try
to hold on to the image of the bird."

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Cittasanto
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Re: Buddhism and apathy?

Postby Cittasanto » Wed Jan 09, 2013 10:15 pm

there is a difference between apathy and equanimity.
This offering maybe right, or wrong, but it is one, the other, both, or neither!
Blog, - Some Suttas Translated, Ajahn Chah.
"Others will misconstrue reality due to their personal perspectives, doggedly holding onto and not easily discarding them; We shall not misconstrue reality due to our own personal perspectives, nor doggedly holding onto them, but will discard them easily. This effacement shall be done."

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Re: Buddhism and apathy?

Postby SarathW » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:18 am

This is a common criticism due to not understanding Buddhism.
Lots of Buddhist also misinterpret Buddhism as well (I am sometimes).
Some Buddhist criticise other religions without having any appreciation for their teachings.

So all this comes down to ignorance.

By the way non attachment, non anger and Loving kindness etc. (Brahama Vihara) are salient features of Buddhism.

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retrofuturist
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Re: Buddhism and apathy?

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:34 am

Greetings Nick,

The best way to remove unwholesome qualities is through their wholesome opposites...

Replacing ignorance with wisdom, aversion with lovingkindness, and greed with openness and generosity.

To let go of the unwholesome without cultivating the wholesome in response could lead to apathy, but simply aiming to let go of the unwholesome without cultivating the wholesome in its place is not what the Buddha taught. Right Effort involves all four of the following (not just [i] & [ii])...

"And what, monks, is right effort?

[i] "There is the case where a monk generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the non-arising of evil, unskillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[ii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the abandonment of evil, unskillful qualities that have arisen.

[iii] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the sake of the arising of skillful qualities that have not yet arisen.

[iv] "He generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent for the maintenance, non-confusion, increase, plenitude, development, & culmination of skillful qualities that have arisen: This, monks, is called right effort."

— SN 45.8

"Generates desire, endeavors, activates persistence, upholds & exerts his intent " doesn't sound like apathy, does it? :)

Metta,
Retro. :)
If you have asked me of the origination of unease, then I shall explain it to you in accordance with my understanding:
Whatever various forms of unease there are in the world, They originate founded in encumbering accumulation. (Pārāyanavagga)


Exalted in mind, just open and clearly aware, the recluse trained in the ways of the sages:
One who is such, calmed and ever mindful, He has no sorrows! -- Udana IV, 7


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marc108
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Re: Buddhism and apathy?

Postby marc108 » Thu Jan 10, 2013 12:39 am

Cittasanto wrote:there is a difference between apathy and equanimity.


exactly. :anjali:
"It's easy for us to connect with what's wrong with us... and not so easy to feel into, or to allow us, to connect with what's right and what's good in us."

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Re: Buddhism and apathy?

Postby steve19800 » Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:14 am

The excitement and all its allies is one of the branch of a tree called party and friends. Someone wants to go beyond this flame of fire therefore they practice Buddhism.

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Re: Buddhism and apathy?

Postby rahul3bds » Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:37 pm

nrose619 wrote:One of my friends studies Buddhism for a world religions class he is taking, and when we were conversing he mentioned Buddhism often pointed to signs of apathy ( lack of feeling or emotion/lack of interest or concern) I said this is not always the case since Buddhism often advocates the virtues of compassion, understanding, and unity. What do you all think of this? :anjali:

many thanks,
-Nick


Actually, it would be Fatalism pointing to the signs of apathy. Remove the last three noble truths from Buddhism and you will get the Fatalistic view.


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