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Love and Fear - Dhamma Wheel

Love and Fear

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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retrofuturist
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Love and Fear

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:25 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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daverupa
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby daverupa » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:38 am

The term kusala should at least indicate the kammapatha; a skilled speaker could craft something about how each one was "love of X", maybe. Then it means their opposites could be framed in terms of "fear of Z".

So, for example, the first item of kammapatha is killing living beings, so: "love of goodwill to living beings" v "fear of living beings & their effects on a self &c", or something.

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Re: Love and Fear

Postby culaavuso » Tue Mar 18, 2014 12:54 am



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Dan74
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 1:50 am

Reminded me of this old bit from our very own Michael Leunig:

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Ben
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:37 am

“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

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retrofuturist
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 18, 2014 2:49 am

Greetings,

Ben and culaavuso ~ yes, I mean love in the sense that one might understand a "pure" love, devoid of any the "fear" components (e.g. hurt, attachment, jealousy, greed, lust, delusion, possessiveness) associated with "conventional" or "everyday" love which is clearly an alternating mixture of kusala and akusala. Translated to a Buddhist context, the love I speak of might be the "boundless" expression of the brahma-viharas, attributed to the Buddha (not just metta) with an absence of their "near enemies".

culaavuso ~ as for AN 4.232... I do not find it a convincing counter-argument to the temporal exclusivity of kusala and akusala mindstates. I think there are sufficient suttas clearly demarcating kusala and akusala mindstates (refer: Ven. Nyanaponika's "The Roots Of Good And Evil", Satipatthana Sutta etc.) as separate dhammas in order to infer temporal exclusivity, even without recourse to the Abhidhamma and associated commentaries. All AN 4.232 says is that if your mindstates (and thus, cetana) alternate between kusala and akusala, then there will be mixed results commensurate with a combination of good and bad kamma.

Dan ~ Thanks for sharing the Leunig prayer... I think he's on to something there.

daverupa ~ Thanks for referencing kammapatha, which for the purposes of conversation I shall list here in their akusala (fear-based?) forms...

1.Destroying life
2.Taking what is not given
3.Wrong conduct in regard to sense pleasures
4.False speech
5.Slanderous speech
6.Harsh speech
7.Idle chatter
8.Covetousness
9.Ill will
10.Wrong view

Kusala (love?) based ones are defined by the abstenttion of these akusala kammas.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:20 am

Hi Paul,
With great respect, I believe what you are doing is attempting to squeeze a round peg through a square hole. I don't have time to write at the moment a detailed explanation as to why I believe that, however, what I would like to know is whether your contention is supported anywhere within Buddhist literature (ancient or modern).
With metta,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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retrofuturist
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:16 am

Greetings Ben,

I'll get back to you on that - I'm not sure that the Pali Canon makes reference to "love" and "fear" at the Leunig sort of level, which is what I'm getting at in this topic... it's more inclined to break it down into its constituent components, which I tend to think sit neatly along the kusala/akusala lines. In other words, I do not see anything kusala which you could categorise under "pure fear", nor do I see anything akusala which you could categorise under "pure love". It's noteworthy that another (currently unpopular) translation of kusala/akusala is good/evil.

Metta,
Retro. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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Ben
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby Ben » Tue Mar 18, 2014 7:32 am

Yes
My personal take is that I believe you may be defining kusala and akusala as love and fear respectively, is too narrow.
Kind regards,
Ben
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one's heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
- Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Learn this from the waters:
in mountain clefts and chasms,
loud gush the streamlets,
but great rivers flow silently.
- Sutta Nipata 3.725

(Buddhist aid in Myanmar) • •

e: [email protected]..

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cooran
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby cooran » Tue Mar 18, 2014 8:29 am

Hello all,

Maybe have a read about the meaning of Kusala and Akusala in page 18 chapter 2

http://www.buddhanet.net/pdf_file/good_ ... pdf#page29

With metta,
Chris
---The trouble is that you think you have time---
---Worry is the Interest, paid in advance, on a debt you may never owe---
---It's not what happens to you in life that is important ~ it's what you do with it ---

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Re: Love and Fear

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:57 am

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine

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imagemarie
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby imagemarie » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:57 am

"Could the couplet of kusala and akusala be profitably understood as love and fear respectively"?

It kind of works for me. If love is regarded as a faculty, an attitude, an "orientation of character" (Erich Fromm).
The "love" word carries a lot of emotional/psychological baggage for most people and they would rather avoid it, or feel that it's association with sentimentality, emotionality, narcissism, eros etc. etc. preclude it's kusala usage in a Buddhist context. That there are better words, definitions, going perhaps.
"Love" is .. messy.

My experience is that I act most unskilfully when contracted, self-protected, and reactive (fearful).
When open, available, and allowing (as when acting from a loving heart), there is the potential for something kusala to arise.

Thomas Jay Oord has defined agape (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agape) as "an intentional response to promote well-being when responding to that which has generated ill-being". Which sounds quite skilful.


"I believe you may be defining kusala and akusala as love and fear respectively, is too narrow."
Or too broad?

:anjali:

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Dan74
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Re: Love and Fear

Postby Dan74 » Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:01 am

Love is a pretty abused words in the modern Western culture, but if one could rescue it from the sex-infused infatuation or a romantic fantasy, then maybe we could see something along the lines you suggest? To me love in its true meaning is a powerful good-will that is not exclusive to one person but infuses everything with its radiance. Metta, mudita and karuna come to mind.
Last edited by Dan74 on Tue Mar 18, 2014 9:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Love and Fear

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Re: Love and Fear

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Re: Love and Fear

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Re: Love and Fear

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Re: Love and Fear

Postby David N. Snyder » Tue Mar 18, 2014 5:23 pm

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Re: Love and Fear

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Re: Love and Fear

Postby retrofuturist » Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:08 pm

"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead" - Thomas Paine


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