Prejudice and Addiction

A forum for beginners and members of other Buddhist traditions to ask questions about Theravāda (The Way of the Elders). Responses require moderator approval before they are visible.

Prejudice and Addiction

Postby green-tea » Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:38 pm

Hello,

I am currently reading "The Places That Scare You" by Pema Choodron and have a few questions about what she is writing. Searching around for discussion forums, I found this place...which seems to be quite active, so I thought I would try asking my questions here. I don't know if this is the correct place to ask these questions, so if not please let me know.

She is talking about impermanence, and writes the following:

"First, we expect that what is always changing should be graspable and predictable. We are born with a craving for resolution and security that governs our thoughts, words, and actions. We are like people in a boat that is falling apart, trying to hold on to the water. The dynamic, energetic, and natural flow of the universe is not acceptable to the conventional mind. Our prejudices and addictions are patterns that arise from the fear of a fluid world."


My question is this: What does she mean when she says that our prejudices arise from the fear of a fluid world? Looking at my experience, I can see how I use addictions (I will include bad habits in this) to cope with uncertainty. But, prejudices....hmm... I'm thinking there must be more to this idea than I am catching. Can anyone expand on this idea for me?

Thanks!
green-tea
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:23 pm

Re: Prejudice and Addiction

Postby David N. Snyder » Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:37 pm

green-tea wrote:My question is this: What does she mean when she says that our prejudices arise from the fear of a fluid world?


Hi green tea,

I haven't read that book, but based on that passage, I think it means that some get used to things as they are and when the fluid world changes the environment, some have their prejudices surface when there is aversion to this change.

If we lose that fear of the fluid world, there would be no prejudice and later even the addictions could wane.
User avatar
David N. Snyder
Site Admin
 
Posts: 8113
Joined: Tue Dec 30, 2008 4:15 am
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Prejudice and Addiction

Postby adosa » Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:22 pm

Hi Green Tea,

I don't think she is using prejudice strictly in reference to aversion to a race, etc. It reads more like "predilection" but I could be wrong.


http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prejudice

adosa
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183
User avatar
adosa
 
Posts: 263
Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 11:08 pm

Re: Prejudice and Addiction

Postby pink_trike » Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:13 pm

Any idea/hope/expectation we have about how the phenomenal world should appear from one moment to the next is a pre.judge.ment - a pre.jud.ice - because we can't know what will come next in the dynamic flow of appearances. We attempt to deny the fluid nature of the world with our comforting prejudices (pre-judgments) of how it should appear in order to calm our fear of annihilation by the endless river of the phenomenal world. We're afraid that we will drown in it and lose our "self".
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
User avatar
pink_trike
 
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:29 am

Re: Prejudice and Addiction

Postby zavk » Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:45 am

Hi green tea

To echo what the others have already said: I think 'prejudice' in this instance refers to such attitudes as, 'Why is this happening?! I don't want things to be like that! Why can't it be the way I want it to be?! It should be like that not like this! Why? Why? Whhhhhy?!!' (gnashing of teeth).

All the best. :smile:
With metta,
zavk
User avatar
zavk
 
Posts: 1161
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2009 12:04 pm
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Prejudice and Addiction

Postby green-tea » Fri Sep 25, 2009 5:04 am

Thanks everyone for your input! As I suspected, there was more to it than I was picking up. It makes more sense now. :)
green-tea
 
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Sep 24, 2009 2:23 pm

Re: Prejudice and Addiction

Postby kidd » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:22 pm

Hi green-tea.

I like your chosen name.

I think she is saying that as human beings we prefer (have a prejudice towards) a world that is unchanging and that we try to make it so by behaving in habitual ways (having addictions or addictive behaviors). And further, that we are born this way.

I don't agree with this, though.

It's natural and normal for human beings to see the world as it is, to open themselves up to it, to appreciate it, to revel in life. It is when we choose to do otherwise that we suffer.

:juggling:
kidd
 
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:20 am

Re: Prejudice and Addiction

Postby pink_trike » Fri Sep 25, 2009 9:59 pm

kidd wrote:Hi green-tea.

I like your chosen name.

I think she is saying that as human beings we prefer (have a prejudice towards) a world that is unchanging and that we try to make it so by behaving in habitual ways (having addictions or addictive behaviors). And further, that we are born this way.

I don't agree with this, though.

It's natural and normal for human beings to see the world as it is, to open themselves up to it, to appreciate it, to revel in life. It is when we choose to do otherwise that we suffer.

:juggling:

The problem of course is that it's extremely rare for us to see the world "as it is"...we normally just see our hunger/fear-fueled projections of what we imagine/hope/insist the world is...this is the cause of our endless dissatisfaction.
Vision is Mind
Mind is Empty
Emptiness is Clear Light
Clear Light is Union
Union is Great Bliss

- Dawa Gyaltsen

---

Disclaimer: I'm a non-religious practitioner of Theravada, Mahayana/Vajrayana, and Tibetan Bon Dzogchen mind-training.
User avatar
pink_trike
 
Posts: 1038
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:29 am


Return to Discovering Theravāda

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests