Who or what test us?

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steve19800
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Who or what test us?

Postby steve19800 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:41 am

Hi all,

So I have a discussion with a Thai monk. He said that we are being tested constantly at a certain stage of our life or practice. Some people after going through a difficult period they fail the test some of them pass the test. Then I asked him who tested us? He said nature. But when I asked for further explanation he did not want to expand his statement.
It seems to me that it is likely that we need to 'prove' our goodness during our life in the samsara. If you can maintain that no matter what is your religion is, in fact all major religions said that you will be ascending to heaven, blessed by goodness, happiness, etc.

But what/who is actually testing us? Thanks.

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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby Ben » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:48 am

Steve,
I think its just a turn of phrase. What you are doing by living a dhammic life is to swim against the tide of past conditionings/fabrications. The tension that this causes, you could say is "the test". But in reality, there is no test and no tester. There is only the training.
I hope that makes sense.
kind regards,

Ben
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in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.

Taṃ nadīhi vijānātha:
sobbhesu padaresu ca,
saṇantā yanti kusobbhā,
tuṇhīyanti mahodadhī.

Sutta Nipata 3.725

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Dan74
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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby Dan74 » Wed Apr 17, 2013 1:51 am

I feel there are times in life and practice when certain things line up and there is almost a sense of purpose or intelligence behind it. I think it is best not to speculate. It could be the results of kamma or some other complexity emerging from a multitude of causes and conditions. In the end, it is pure guesswork and it is best to focus our efforts on what needs doing rather worrying about some imagined entity that tests us, or that we need to please, etc.
_/|\_

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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby pegembara » Wed Apr 17, 2013 2:34 pm

We are testing ourselves through our craving

153. Through many a birth in samsara have I wandered in vain, seeking the builder of this house (of life). Repeated birth is indeed suffering!

154. O house-builder, you are seen! You will not build this house again. For your rafters are broken and your ridgepole shattered. My mind has reached the Unconditioned; I have attained the destruction of craving.

Dhammapada


"Now what is the noble truth of the origination of stress? The craving that makes for further becoming — accompanied by passion & delight, relishing now here & now there — i.e., craving for sensuality, craving for becoming, craving for non-becoming... And what is the noble truth of the cessation of stress? The remainderless fading & cessation, renunciation, relinquishment, release, & letting go of that very craving."

— DN 22
And what is right speech? Abstaining from lying, from divisive speech, from abusive speech, & from idle chatter: This is called right speech.

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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby rahul3bds » Sat May 18, 2013 5:35 am

steve19800 wrote:So I have a discussion with a Thai
monk. He said that we are being tested
constantly at a certain stage of our life
or practice.


Monk is right.

Adhipateyya Sutta: Governing Principles

"And what is the cosmos as a
governing principle? There is the case
where a monk, having gone to a
wilderness, to the foot of a tree, or to
an empty dwelling, reflects on this: 'It
is not for the sake of robes that I have gone forth from the home life into
homelessness; it is not for the sake of
almsfood, for the sake of lodgings, or
for the sake of this or that state of
[future] becoming that I have gone
forth from the home life into homelessness. Simply that I am beset
by birth, aging, & death; by sorrows,
lamentations, pains, distresses, &
despairs; beset by stress, overcome
with stress, [and I hope,] "Perhaps the
end of this entire mass of suffering & stress might be known!" Now if I,
having gone forth, were to think
thoughts of sensuality, thoughts of ill
will, or thoughts of harmfulness: great
is the community of this cosmos. And
in the great community of this cosmos there are brahmans & contemplatives
endowed with psychic power,
clairvoyant, skilled [in reading] the
minds of others. They can see even
from afar. Even up close, they are
invisible. With their awareness they know the minds of others. They would
know this of me: "Look, my friends, at
this clansman who — though he has
in good faith gone forth from the
home life into homelessness —
remains overcome with evil, unskillful mental qualities." There are also devas
endowed with psychic power,
clairvoyant, skilled [in reading] the
minds of others. They can see even
from afar. Even up close, they are
invisible. With their awareness they know the minds of others. They would
know this of me: "Look, my friends, at
this clansman who — though he has
in good faith gone forth from the
home life into homelessness —
remains overcome with evil, unskillful mental qualities."
' So he reflects on
this: 'My persistence will be aroused &
not lax; my mindfulness established &
not confused; my body calm & not
aroused; my mind centered & unified.'
Having made the cosmos his governing principle, he abandons
what is unskillful, develops what is
skillful, abandons what is
blameworthy, develops what is
unblameworthy, and looks after
himself in a pure way. This is called the cosmos as a governing principle.


http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

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ground
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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby ground » Sat May 18, 2013 6:24 am

steve19800 wrote:But what/who is actually testing us? Thanks.

Nothing, because there is nothing. The arising of something in the sphere of arising of sense of self however causes the arising of the sense of "being tested". :sage:

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tiltbillings
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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat May 18, 2013 7:38 am

ground wrote:
steve19800 wrote:But what/who is actually testing us? Thanks.

Nothing, because there is nothing. The arising of something in the sphere of arising of sense of self however causes the arising of the sense of "being tested".
Obviously, by your own words, there is not "nothing," because if there were "nothing" there could not be 'The arising of something in the sphere of arising of sense of self however causes the arising of the sense of "being tested",' which by your own words is something.

Image = :sage:
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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ground
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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby ground » Sat May 18, 2013 8:15 am

tiltbillings wrote:Obviously, by your own words, there is not "nothing," ...

thinks what has already been arisen as felt something. :sage:

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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat May 18, 2013 8:28 am

ground wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Obviously, by your own words, there is not "nothing," ...

thinks what has already been arisen as felt something. :sage:
Hmm. Cute, but it still does not work. You said there is nothing, which you contradicted when you said there is something, and now you are are positing "thinks," which clearly is something and not nothing. Geez, ground, you are not doing too terribly well here.

Image = :sage:
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

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ground
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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby ground » Sat May 18, 2013 9:04 am

tiltbillings wrote:Hmm. Cute, but it still does not work.

What is "it" that is expected to work? Is "it" that which tests us? :sage:

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tiltbillings
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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat May 18, 2013 3:19 pm

ground wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Hmm. Cute, but it still does not work.

What is "it" that is expected to work? Is "it" that which tests us? :sage:
Do I really have to tell you? You cannot follow a simple give and take? Or are you simply being non-responsive again to your being shown that sometimes what you say is not without some degree of problem, which in this case is that first you say one thing then directly contradict your first statement by the very next thing you say.


Image = :sage:
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.

dheamhan a fhios agam

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson

sshai45
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Re: Who or what test us?

Postby sshai45 » Mon May 20, 2013 10:57 am

tiltbillings wrote:
ground wrote:
steve19800 wrote:But what/who is actually testing us? Thanks.

Nothing, because there is nothing. The arising of something in the sphere of arising of sense of self however causes the arising of the sense of "being tested".
Obviously, by your own words, there is not "nothing," because if there were "nothing" there could not be 'The arising of something in the sphere of arising of sense of self however causes the arising of the sense of "being tested",' which by your own words is something.


However, when I read his post, to me it seems it is like this:

"nothing" = "nothing doing the testing, i.e. there is no 'tester'". Note that he said "nothing" in response to someone asking "but what/who is actually testing us?".
"something" = "something that causes the feeling of being tested"

The something causing the feeling of being tested need not be a tester, therefore there is no contradiction.


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