Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby chicka-Dee » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:42 pm

I think we tend to like to forget that we each have the potential for abhorrent behaviour. The motivations behind so called 'sinful' actions are very complex, and nothing occurs in a vacuum. Once one is able see, even a little tiny bit, that had they themselves, let's say, had the same upbringing and life conditions of that guy behind bars, that they could have ended up committing some sort of similar sin and wound up in the same circumstances, then compassion naturally comes in to fill that tiny bit of space left open.

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby Prasadachitta » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:12 pm

Hi All,

I would like to point out that this thread is meant to be about teachings which tend to support and promote negative thoughts and actions. Its not about the actions themselves.


Kindly

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby kannada » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:29 pm

Dan wrote:Well if anything, prisons tend to entrench criminal patterns. After all when you are surrounded by offenders, many of them old hardened criminals, a first-time offender has a steep learning curve as far as all sorts of unsavoury stuff goes. From my experience, the many first-time prisoners find the environment pretty unbearable. Until they get used to it - adapt, become more like the others.

As for child abusers, they are (on average) no more likely to reoffend than any other criminal, and the laws that you mention (and yes, I live in Australia too - doesn't everyone on this forum?) are there for political purposes. It is very hard to judge whether someone will reoffend or not.

So learning the lesson is somewhat hard in the prison culture where most people are there precisely because they haven't learnt it.

Do you have any views on a more successful prison/rehab program?


What I was getting at was that we are not so different, "us" and "them." Angulimala was a mass murderer and an arahat, which one was he - "us" or "them"? A person you may look up to probably has some pretty nasty fantasies from time to time and hopefully will never have an opportunity to make them reality. The so-called moral fortitude of an average sentient being is a pretty shonky affair. Best left untested... And if you dig around in your mind, especially if you are an imaginative creative type (I was an artist in my "past life" before marriage and kids) you may walk through doors that are perhaps best left closed, or at least not opened without a good guide.

If you don't know what I am talking about - that's fine and nothing to worry about. But often it is precisely what ruffles our feathers the most that we should examine closely and dispassionately. Emotion as we know tends to cloud the waters, obscure clear seeing, putting it aside or paying careful attention to it, may help learn something about ourselves.. Perhaps something we'd rather not know. But these things are always best brought into the open.

I have no idea if this is relevant to you - just speaking more from my experience. But then again - I think we are not so different. All of us..

I must be pretty boring Dan. As I said above I'm no saint, but I can't relate to most of this 'dark side' stuff either. My vehemency toward those who torture animals for entertainment or bullies who take out their frustrations on others, doesn't relate to anything within me. My mind's a bit like my garage, a bit of a mess, a lot of dust and cobwebs, various reading material that's decades old, a few rusty tools etc. I live under the naïve yet happy illusion that most others are no different to me.

Gabe wrote:Hi All,

I would like to point out that this thread is meant to be about teachings which tend to support and promote negative thoughts and actions. Its not about the actions themselves.


Kindly

Gabe

Sorry Gabe,
This is my last deviation – back to topic
Just a view - nothing more...

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby Dan74 » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:35 pm

kannada wrote:
Dan wrote:Well if anything, prisons tend to entrench criminal patterns. After all when you are surrounded by offenders, many of them old hardened criminals, a first-time offender has a steep learning curve as far as all sorts of unsavoury stuff goes. From my experience, the many first-time prisoners find the environment pretty unbearable. Until they get used to it - adapt, become more like the others.

As for child abusers, they are (on average) no more likely to reoffend than any other criminal, and the laws that you mention (and yes, I live in Australia too - doesn't everyone on this forum?) are there for political purposes. It is very hard to judge whether someone will reoffend or not.

So learning the lesson is somewhat hard in the prison culture where most people are there precisely because they haven't learnt it.

Do you have any views on a more successful prison/rehab program?


That will take us really off-topic, but (briefly) I guess more opportunities for prisoners to do something constructive with their time - study, work, spiritual and personal growth programs. And being treated as human beings would help.
kannada wrote:
What I was getting at was that we are not so different, "us" and "them." Angulimala was a mass murderer and an arahat, which one was he - "us" or "them"? A person you may look up to probably has some pretty nasty fantasies from time to time and hopefully will never have an opportunity to make them reality. The so-called moral fortitude of an average sentient being is a pretty shonky affair. Best left untested... And if you dig around in your mind, especially if you are an imaginative creative type (I was an artist in my "past life" before marriage and kids) you may walk through doors that are perhaps best left closed, or at least not opened without a good guide.

If you don't know what I am talking about - that's fine and nothing to worry about. But often it is precisely what ruffles our feathers the most that we should examine closely and dispassionately. Emotion as we know tends to cloud the waters, obscure clear seeing, putting it aside or paying careful attention to it, may help learn something about ourselves.. Perhaps something we'd rather not know. But these things are always best brought into the open.

I have no idea if this is relevant to you - just speaking more from my experience. But then again - I think we are not so different. All of us..

I must be pretty boring Dan. As I said above I'm no saint, but I can't relate to most of this 'dark side' stuff either. My vehemency toward those who torture animals for entertainment or bullies who take out their frustrations on others, doesn't relate to anything within me. My mind's a bit like my garage, a bit of a mess, a lot of dust and cobwebs, various reading material that's decades old, a few rusty tools etc. I live under the naïve yet happy illusion that most others are no different to me.
:D

Fair enough!

Maybe we talk some more once you clean off the cobwebs. Which reminds me...

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby genkaku » Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:49 pm

Macavity wrote:
genkaku wrote:No disrespect intended, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, do we need someone else to tell us it is a duck?


Hi Genkaku,

I don't understand you. To which post is this a reply?



Didn't the Buddha say that a sentient being is basically insane?

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby Macavity » Mon Aug 10, 2009 3:53 pm

tiltbillings wrote:(Could you quote the page, please?)



    He [the worldling] perceives [earth] as a living being or as belonging to a living being. Why he does so should not be asked, for the worlding is like a madman. He seizes upon anything he can in whatever way he can. Or else the reason is that he has no regard for the ariyans, etc.; or, as the Blessed One will say later on [in this sutta], "because it has not been fully understood by him."
    (M-a. i. 25)


    'Which for which becomes condition' means that here the exposition should be known according to what kind of clinging is a condition for what kind of becoming. But what is the condition for what here? Any kind is a condition for any kind. For the worldling is like a madman, and without considering "Is this right or wrong?", and aspiring by means of any of the kinds of clinging to any of the kinds of becoming, he performs any of the kinds of kamma. Therefore when some say that the fine-material and the immaterial kinds of becoming do not come about through rite-and-ritual clinging, that should not be accepted. What should be accepted is that all kinds come about through all kinds.
    (Vis. xvii. 261)

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby Macavity » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:57 pm

genkaku wrote:
Macavity wrote:
genkaku wrote:No disrespect intended, but if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, do we need someone else to tell us it is a duck?


Hi Genkaku,

I don't understand you. To which post is this a reply?



Didn't the Buddha say that a sentient being is basically insane?


I'm afraid I still don't understand. What is the "it" in "it walks like a duck" referring to? A worldling? If so, then note the Buddhaghosa is not saying that the worldling is a madman, but that he is like a madman in certain respects.

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby genkaku » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:24 pm

Hi Macavity -- I'm not entirely sure what a 'worldling' might be, but being 'like' a madman strikes me as unduly serene or Jesuitically sophomoric ... reminds me of the old phrase, "a little bit pregnant." Either someone is mad or they are not. Either they are pregnant or they are not. Either it's a duck or it's not.

But this could just be my smudged perceptions.

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby Jechbi » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:20 pm

quack
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: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby Dan74 » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:11 am

genkaku wrote:Hi Macavity -- I'm not entirely sure what a 'worldling' might be, but being 'like' a madman strikes me as unduly serene or Jesuitically sophomoric ... reminds me of the old phrase, "a little bit pregnant." Either someone is mad or they are not. Either they are pregnant or they are not. Either it's a duck or it's not.

But this could just be my smudged perceptions.


:cookoo:

:rolleye:

(I am speaking for myself of course :toilet: )

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby Macavity » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:03 am

genkaku wrote:I'm not entirely sure what a 'worldling' might be,


Hi Genkaku,

A worldling (puthujjana) is an ordinary, completely unawakened person; some one who has not yet arrived at stream-entry.

but being 'like' a madman strikes me as unduly serene or Jesuitically sophomoric ... reminds me of the old phrase, "a little bit pregnant." Either someone is mad or they are not. Either they are pregnant or they are not.


To say that a puthujjana is like a madman is a simile. It means that they have some conspicuous feature in common, to which the composer of the simile wishes to draw attention. It's not like saying "a little bit pregnant". Rather, it's like saying "a pregnant woman is like a python that has swallowed a sheep." In saying this one would be drawing attention to the shared swollenness of the woman and the python.

But this could just be my smudged perceptions.


Or maybe they just don't have similes where you come from.

But as a Zen Buddhist the madman trope ought to be familar to you. A madman (or in some texts a drunkard) with a jewel in his pocket who goes searching for a jewel is a stock Mahayana image for the worldling and his supposed Buddha nature.

Kind regards,
Ciarán

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby cooran » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:13 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Didn't the Buddha say that a sentient being is basically insane?


You can quote the text?


Hello Tilt,

Read this short thread on Dhammastudygroup from 2003 - which gives the relevant quotes:
Wordlings are mad
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... threaded=1

metta
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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:31 am

Macavity wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:(Could you quote the page, please?)



    He [the worldling] perceives [earth] as a living being or as belonging to a living being. Why he does so should not be asked, for the worlding is like a madman. He seizes upon anything he can in whatever way he can. Or else the reason is that he has no regard for the ariyans, etc.; or, as the Blessed One will say later on [in this sutta], "because it has not been fully understood by him."
    (M-a. i. 25)


    'Which for which becomes condition' means that here the exposition should be known according to what kind of clinging is a condition for what kind of becoming. But what is the condition for what here? Any kind is a condition for any kind. For the worldling is like a madman, and without considering "Is this right or wrong?", and aspiring by means of any of the kinds of clinging to any of the kinds of becoming, he performs any of the kinds of kamma. Therefore when some say that the fine-material and the immaterial kinds of becoming do not come about through rite-and-ritual clinging, that should not be accepted. What should be accepted is that all kinds come about through all kinds.
    (Vis. xvii. 261)


Thanks
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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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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby tiltbillings » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:31 am

Chris wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Didn't the Buddha say that a sentient being is basically insane?


You can quote the text?


Hello Tilt,

Read this short thread on Dhammastudygroup from 2003 - which gives the relevant quotes:
Wordlings are mad
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dhammastu ... threaded=1

metta
Chris


thanks
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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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby PeterB » Tue Aug 11, 2009 12:06 pm

The Buddha was never coy about calling a spade a spade was he. He, as in all things provides the model for Right Speech.
On the one hand his speech is always tempered and appropriate to the stuation, on the other hand he doesnt pull his punches. A lesson for those of us who tend to be over-emphatic, as well as to those who see all expression of dissent or disagreement as contradicting Right Speech.

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Aug 11, 2009 1:42 pm

PeterB wrote:The Buddha was never coy about calling a spade a spade was he. He, as in all things provides the model for Right Speech.
On the one hand his speech is always tempered and appropriate to the stuation, on the other hand he doesnt pull his punches. A lesson for those of us who tend to be over-emphatic, as well as to those who see all expression of dissent or disagreement as contradicting Right Speech.


Thank you PeterB,

Very succinctly put. This is pretty much what I am trying to get at.


Gabe
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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby Jechbi » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:11 pm

PeterB wrote:The Buddha was never coy about calling a spade a spade was he. He, as in all things provides the model for Right Speech.
On the one hand his speech is always tempered and appropriate to the stuation, on the other hand he doesnt pull his punches. A lesson for those of us who tend to be over-emphatic, as well as to those who see all expression of dissent or disagreement as contradicting Right Speech.

Personally, I think we have to be very cautious if we look to the Buddha as a role model for right speech, because the Buddha knew the right time to say thnhgs, and he knew his audience. Most of us lack that clarity of wisdom. So we might say very defensible things, but we're much more likely than the Buddha to do so at the wrong time, and with words that are not most helpful to the intended recipient.

Knowing the Buddha's words is kind of like having a sharp knife in the house. You treat it with care, and you don't threaten people with it. (And it's probably best if children don't play with it, especially without supervision.)
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: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby Prasadachitta » Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:59 pm

Jechbi wrote:Knowing the Buddha's words is kind of like having a sharp knife in the house. You treat it with care, and you don't threaten people with it. (And it's probably best if children don't play with it, especially without supervision.)



Hi Jechbi,

I think it is best to use ones own words perhaps inspired and guided by those which come from tradition and always properly qualified as applying only to that which is provisionally perceived.

Jechbi wrote:Personally, I think we have to be very cautious if we look to the Buddha as a role model for right speech,


I agree with the value of caution as a general guiding principle.

Kindly

Gabe
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby PeterB » Tue Aug 11, 2009 4:14 pm

Jechbi wrote:
PeterB wrote:The Buddha was never coy about calling a spade a spade was he. He, as in all things provides the model for Right Speech.
On the one hand his speech is always tempered and appropriate to the stuation, on the other hand he doesnt pull his punches. A lesson for those of us who tend to be over-emphatic, as well as to those who see all expression of dissent or disagreement as contradicting Right Speech.

Personally, I think we have to be very cautious if we look to the Buddha as a role model for right speech, because the Buddha knew the right time to say thnhgs, and he knew his audience. Most of us lack that clarity of wisdom. So we might say very defensible things, but we're much more likely than the Buddha to do so at the wrong time, and with words that are not most helpful to the intended recipient.

Knowing the Buddha's words is kind of like having a sharp knife in the house. You treat it with care, and you don't threaten people with it. (And it's probably best if children don't play with it, especially without supervision.)


The reasons you give , the level of mindfulness and equanimity involved to follow the Buddhas example in the use of speech, are precisely why he is the ideal model. Our own attempts to emulate him may fail time after time, but he sets the bar for our own attempts, along with the rest of the Eightfold path, all of which presents a constant challenge each and every day as far as I am concerned.

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Re: Tolerance versus hiding your head in the sand

Postby genkaku » Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:00 pm

I wonder:

It seems to me that the Eightfold Path is a free-standing invitation. It needs no help from Gautama, and whether or not he enunciated such suggestions -- while nice and perhaps inspiring -- is purely secondary.

The importance of the Eightfold Path does not lie with Gautama, however grateful anyone might be for his efforts and wisdom. The importance lies specifically with those who choose to exercise -- succeed or fail... no difference -- its wisdoms. Let's not get sidetracked.

Just noodling.


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