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mikenz66
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Re: No comment

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:21 am

Hi Retro,

My point is that I continue to be surprised at the outcry whenever anyone states that kamma may have something to do with some misfortune or other. Such people (the outcriers) seem to me to be in denial...

Metta
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Re: No comment

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:25 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:My point is that I continue to be surprised at the outcry whenever anyone states that kamma may have something to do with some misfortune or other. Such people (the outcriers) seem to me to be in denial of Right View...


I don't know there's any "outcry" per se. There is merely the observation that the Buddha's teaching on kamma are often extended by people beyond the domain of which the Buddha taught in the Suttas, into the realm of baseless and fruitless speculation... something the Buddha explicitly warned against.

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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Re: No comment

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:37 am

retrofuturist wrote:I don't know there's any "outcry" per se.

:jumping:
retrofuturist wrote:There is merely the observation that the Buddha's teaching on kamma are often extended by people beyond the domain of which the Buddha taught in the Suttas, into the realm of baseless and fruitless speculation... something the Buddha explicitly warned against.

Of course, I did say may...

And the important thing seems to be to reflect that one's current and future circumstances are crucially dependent on kamma:
"'I am the owner of my actions (kamma) heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.' ...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html


Metta
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Re: No comment

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:39 am

Greetings,

Kamma is not the domain of maybe and speculation. Rather...

"'Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play should be known. The diversity in kamma should be known. The result of kamma should be known. The cessation of kamma should be known. The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known.' Thus it has been said. In reference to what was it said?

"Intention, I tell you, is kamma. Intending, one does kamma by way of body, speech, & intellect.

"And what is the cause by which kamma comes into play? Contact is the cause by which kamma comes into play.

"And what is the diversity in kamma? There is kamma to be experienced in hell, kamma to be experienced in the realm of common animals, kamma to be experienced in the realm of the hungry shades, kamma to be experienced in the human world, kamma to be experienced in the world of the devas. This is called the diversity in kamma.

"And what is the result of kamma? The result of kamma is of three sorts, I tell you: that which arises right here & now, that which arises later [in this lifetime], and that which arises following that. This is called the result of kamma.

"And what is the cessation of kamma? From the cessation of contact is the cessation of kamma; and just this noble eightfold path — right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration — is the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma.

"Now when a disciple of the noble ones discerns kamma in this way, the cause by which kamma comes into play in this way, the diversity of kamma in this way, the result of kamma in this way, the cessation of kamma in this way, & the path of practice leading to the cessation of kamma in this way, then he discerns this penetrative holy life as the cessation of kamma.

"'Kamma should be known. The cause by which kamma comes into play... The diversity in kamma... The result of kamma... The cessation of kamma... The path of practice for the cessation of kamma should be known.' Thus it has been said, and in reference to this was it said."

— AN 6.63


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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Re: No comment

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:49 am

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:And the important thing seems to be to reflect that one's current and future circumstances are crucially dependent on kamma:
"'I am the owner of my actions (kamma) heir to my actions, born of my actions, related through my actions, and have my actions as my arbitrator. Whatever I do, for good or for evil, to that will I fall heir.' ...
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

Yes, of course... that is the teaching of kamma and vipaka in worldly or conventional terms... as evidenced by all the instances of "I" and "my".

To "know kamma" though, one has to go beyond worldly parlance and falsely imputed concepts into the domain of the "world" as it was rightly redefined by the Buddha... the six senses, dependent origination, the five aggregates, and such.... domains for which "I" and "my" have no validity, and in which there is no "doer" of kamma and no "receiver" of vipaka.

Note that the "world" as defined by the Buddha is about modes of experience. It is as a mode of experience that kamma comes to fruit.

Since vipaka is a mode of experience, can you see now why I was reticent to give a simple one word answer to questions like "So you agree that it is possible that some earthquake victims suffered in the earthquake because of kamma?"... which you were asking in conventional terms? It is the mode of experience which will determine the extent of any suffering. So it is now as we sit at our computers, and so it is as the earth trembles beneath someone's feet.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: No comment

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:28 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Yes, of course... that is the teaching of kamma and vipaka in worldly or conventional terms... as evidenced by all the instances of "I" and "my".

Of course. I'm talking in conventional terms, which is the starting point of the training. As I quoted in another thread, sila, etc, is most conveniently discussed conventional terms:
viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2986
retrofuturist wrote:To "know kamma" though, one has to go beyond worldly parlance and falsely imputed concepts into the domain of the "world" as it was rightly redefined by the Buddha... the six senses, dependent origination, the five aggregates, and such.... domains for which "I" and "my" have no validity, and in which there is no "doer" of kamma and no "receiver" of vipaka.

Yes, the Sutta you quoted above is about liberation and ultimate reality. However, even in terms of ultimate reality there is the kamma and there is the vipaka...

Metta
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Re: No comment

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:31 pm

Greetings Mike,

mikenz66 wrote:Yes, the Sutta you quoted above is about liberation and ultimate reality. However, even in terms of ultimate reality there is the kamma and there is the vipaka...

Have I ever said anything to the contrary? :shrug: Both are observable realities to be known.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: No comment

Postby David N. Snyder » Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:03 pm

:goodpost: Good posts, Retro!

Regardless of our interpretations of kamma, this applies foremost:

The Four subjects not fit for speculative thought:
1. The specific qualities of a Buddha
2. A person’s jhana attainment
3. The results of kamma
4. The nature of the world

Anguttara Nikaya 4.77

(Speculating on these could lead one to mental distress and insanity.)

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Re: No comment

Postby adosa » Sat Jan 16, 2010 3:16 pm

.
Last edited by adosa on Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
"To avoid all evil, to cultivate good, and to cleanse one's mind — this is the teaching of the Buddhas" - Dhammapada 183

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Re: No comment

Postby cooran » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:28 pm

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings Cooran,

cooran wrote:If the Buddha was mistaken on this .... what else would you say he was mistaken on?


I am having trouble finding the sutta reference online at the moment (may it's not online), but there is a sutta where the Buddha says that he does not dispute with the wise. Accordingly, if the prevailing wisdom is such, and he has no experiential knowledge which contradicts it, he will not argue against what the wise say, for what basis would he have to do so? Perhaps you or someone else may recall the sutta and know where it can be found? The Buddha was not omniscient in a God-like sense, and there are suttas in the Pali Canon which make this abundantly clear, so there was much "worldly" knowledge about which he would have no basis to reject.

That said, anything he was "mistaken" on, as a result of accepting what the wise say (in the absence of contradictory experiential knowledge of his own) is absolutely inconsequential to the Path and not worth any of us being particularly bothered about. That he didn't know about the workings of tectonic plates and such, is totally irrelevant from the perspective of the Dhamma he taught (as per the quote below)

cooran wrote:Or what else can be taken as ultimate truth in what He says?


Extract from SN 56.31: Simsapa Sutta
http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

"And what have I taught? 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress': This is what I have taught. And why have I taught these things? Because they are connected with the goal, relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. This is why I have taught them.


That is the "ultimate truth" of what he says. The Four Noble Truths.

cooran wrote:Maybe it could be that Ven. Dhammika didn't understand the teachings?


I would suggest that he did understand, and was suitably and respectfully generous to the Buddha in his analysis. A scientist for example, approaching the matter from a worldly perspective, could have just blatantly dismissed what the Buddha said as ancient ignorance.

Metta,
Retro. :)


Hello Retrofuturist,

Potthapada Sutta: Dutta 9 Digha Nikaya p. 169
But, Citta, these are merely names, expressions, turns of speech, designations in common use in the world, which the Tathagata uses without misapprehending them. [note Note 224 ]

Note 224 : An important reference to the two truths referred to in DA as 'conventional speech' (sammuti-kathaa).
See Introduction, p. 3f. It is important to be aware of the level of truth at which any statements are made.
In MA (ad MN5: Anangana Sutta), the following verse is quoted:

Two truths the Buddha, best of all who speak,
declared:
Conventional and ultimate - no third can be
Terms agreed are true by usage of the world;
Words of ultimate significance are true
In terms of dhammas. Thus the Lord, a Teacher,
he
Who's skilled in this world's speech, can use it, and not lie.


I am surprised at the statements you and (allegedly) Ven Dhammika have made about the Buddha.

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: No comment

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:21 pm

Greetings Chris,

Do you agree that the potential set of all worldly knowledge (all the things that any being in the universe could possibly know about all aspects the cosmos, in all time periods, in their various permutations and combinations) is infinite? I believe this.

In the Majjjhima Nikaya the Buddha says "There is no recluse of brahmin who knows all, who sees all, simultaneously; this is not possible".

Even if we were to grant that the Buddha could know whatever he put his mind to knowing, if the set of potential worldly knowledge is infinite, and it's not possible to know or see everything at once, then it's perfectly logical to state that the Buddha did not know everything about everything.

But do we as Buddhists go to the Buddha for refuge because he could have known "everything about everything", or do we go for refuge in him because he offers a path to the cessation of suffering?

The fact he wouldn't have been able to recite the Bee Gees discography, along with all the chart positions of their singles and albums across different countries is irrelevant to the holy path. I don't care about that - do you? I'm more than happy to cut the Buddha a bit of slack for all he has done.

Note that in the Simsapa Sutta he compares the handful of leaves (his teachings) with respect to a forest (the things he knew)... he did not compare the handful of leaves to the entire cosmos or even a world system or continent.

Metta,
Retro. :)

P.S. What was the significance of the above reference on sammuti-kathaa? Do you think I have understood something in conventional terms which should be understood in ultimate terms, or vice versa? If so, could you please explain what it was and how you think it should be understood?
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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: No comment

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 17, 2010 4:53 am

Hello Retro,

I was responding to what sounded like a patronising remark, and explaining (if it needed explanation) that the Buddha always spoke to the level of his audience.:

Although the Buddha was mistaken in this matter, he was clearly attempting to give a naturalistic explanation for the phenomena.
(Ven. Dhammika blog Jan. 14, 2010)


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: No comment

Postby retrofuturist » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:05 am

Greetings Cooran,

cooran wrote:I was responding to what sounded like a patronising remark


Apologies if you found anything that I said to be patronizing towards yourself or others... my comments were not intended as such.

I am merely attempting to speak clearly and to give relevant analogies to explain my understanding of the Buddha's teaching.

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


Dharma Wheel (Mahayana / Vajrayana forum) -- Open flower ~ Open book (blog)

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Re: No comment

Postby cooran » Sun Jan 17, 2010 5:49 am

Hello Retro,

No apology needed. It had to do with the quote from Ven. Dhammika stating the Buddha was mistaken, which I took to be what you were agreeing with.

The Buddha wasn't 'mistaken', but was speaking to the level of understanding of his audience ... using Skilful Means - which is why I put in the quotes about different sorts of truth.

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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