Right livelihood in entertainment question

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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mario92
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Right livelihood in entertainment question

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Namaste i want to ask a question: i see that some singers, movie stars or athletes (soccer, box, etc) are super rich they own millions of dollars, i want to ask if their way of making money is right livelihood? or if it is worth doing? I have this doubt because there is not win-win but win-lose. For example most of movies or tv shows use violence as their the central emphasis, or they kill an animal, etc. Thanks
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Sam Vara
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

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You might want to consider this sutta, addressed to an actor:
Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, went to the Blessed One and, on arrival, having bowed down to him, sat to one side. As he was sitting there he said to the Blessed One: "Lord, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of actors that 'When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.' What does the Blessed One have to say about that?"

"Enough, headman, put that aside. Don't ask me that."

A second time... A third time Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, said: "Lord, I have heard that it has been passed down by the ancient teaching lineage of actors that 'When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas.' What does the Blessed One have to say about that?"

"Apparently, headman, I haven't been able to get past you by saying, 'Enough, headman, put that aside. Don't ask me that.' So I will simply answer you. Any beings who are not devoid of passion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of passion, focus with even more passion on things inspiring passion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of aversion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of aversion, focus with even more aversion on things inspiring aversion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Any beings who are not devoid of delusion to begin with, who are bound by the bond of delusion, focus with even more delusion on things inspiring delusion presented by an actor on stage in the midst of a festival. Thus the actor — himself intoxicated & heedless, having made others intoxicated & heedless — with the breakup of the body, after death, is reborn in what is called the hell of laughter. But if he holds such a view as this: 'When an actor on the stage, in the midst of a festival, makes people laugh & gives them delight with his imitation of reality, then with the breakup of the body, after death, he is reborn in the company of the laughing devas,' that is his wrong view. Now, there are two destinations for a person with wrong view, I tell you: either hell or the animal womb."

When this was said, Talaputa, the head of an acting troupe, sobbed & burst into tears.
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mario92
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

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Thanks sam vara i was making surreal art to be sold in the internet but i will keep i myself as i consider is like delusion.
mario92
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

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Is art in general considered delusion and not worth doing it?
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Sam Vara
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

Post by Sam Vara »

mario92 wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:46 pm Thanks sam vara i was making surreal art to be sold in the internet but i will keep i myself as i consider is like delusion.
I wouldn't come to that conclusion so quickly. You might want to think it through, as visual art seems to be very different from the Talaputa issue in the sutta. I don't know the answer myself (not being a creative person!) but does surreal art really inspire delusion?
dharmacorps
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

Post by dharmacorps »

mario92 wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:50 pm Is art in general considered delusion and not worth doing it?
I don't think the Buddha made such a categorical statement. But in terms of livelihood, he gave a lot of guidance which is in the suttas.
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confusedlayman
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

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dharmacorps wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:55 pm
mario92 wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:50 pm Is art in general considered delusion and not worth doing it?
I don't think the Buddha made such a categorical statement. But in terms of livelihood, he gave a lot of guidance which is in the suttas.
Surely porn actors are destined to hell
I may be slow learner but im at least learning...
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

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confusedlayman wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:13 pm Surely porn actors are destined to hell
I am pleased to read you realise they are only "actors" or "acting" (rather than engaged in realistic sustainable sexual behaviours).

I recall once watching a short news video years ago on a news site about a pornography convention. A small tribal man eagerly interviewed the queen of porn and asked: "when u walking down the street, do u pick up sexy men and have sex with them". The queen of porn just snapped & got angry at the little man, saying her movies are not real life & mere acting.

Regardless, the queen of porn seemed to already fall into hell, with all of her drug addictions, loss of parental custody, plastic surgeries, marrying an Israeli and converting to Judaism (which probably qualifies her to become a Buddhist).

Update: Just found her Youtube channel. Claims to be alcohol and drug free for 4 years and had an IVF baby. Looks a million times better than the last time a saw a Youtube video of her a few years ago, where her mental faculties looked very bad.

Good video. She even says she was in the "darkest depths of hell". :thumbsup: :bow:
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dharmacorps
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

Post by dharmacorps »

confusedlayman wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 9:13 pm
Surely porn actors are destined to hell
That's another categorical statement the Buddha never made. There many people in the Buddha's orbits who had jobs involving wrong livelihood (including prostitutes and courtesans) who changed their ways and reached noble attainments.

Leave the fire and brimstone to the Christians.
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

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dharmacorps wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 11:32 pm That's another categorical statement the Buddha never made. There many people in the Buddha's orbits who had jobs involving wrong livelihood (including prostitutes and courtesans) who changed their ways and reached noble attainments.
When a prostitute became a bhikkhuni, she ceased to be a prostitute. The suttas clearly say when people joined the Sangha, they lost/gave up their former names or caste.
dharmacorps wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 11:32 pmLeave the fire and brimstone to the Christians.
It was Jesus and not Buddha who consorted with prostitutes. The Buddha clearly taught consorting with prostitutes leads to rebirth in hell or "downfall". The suttas criticise both monks & laypeople who collected alms from prostitutes or who used the services of prostitutes. The Pali suttas clearly teach fire and brimstone. In fact, since there is no hell in the Old Testament (apart from the here & now fire and brimstone upon the pandakas in Sodom & Gomorrah), it appears obviously the Christian hell came from the Buddhist hell, as described in MN 130. :smile:
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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StrivingforMonkhood
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

Post by StrivingforMonkhood »

We must be very careful in judging people based on their job.

There are people in "legit" jobs doing terrible things to others. Many of us don't even know.

The West makes too much ado about sex, especially if no cheating or violence is going on (then it's even much more serious).

We all know that porn is not noble...how could it be? Neither is gambling, drinking alcohol, materialism, gossip, hate speech, etc. You do not shun porn stars anymore than you'd shun a gossip hound.

Do not judge porn stars. We have to know a person and his or her individual personality/situation to make a moral assessment, and even then, we have to be careful to not judge. A porn star (man or woman) can be a much better person overall than your materialistic, gossiping neighbor next door whose ugly words have led to people being wrongly fired from their jobs. Every situation is different, no matter the profession. Buddhists take everything into account before making a moral evaluation (but never do we judge!).

A man or woman may be a porn actor/actress for a variety of reasons: just money; lack of self-esteem; rebellion; enjoys sex for sex (more male porn actors than female), etc. And some porn is worse than others (violent; illegal; etc.).

We think porn is more immoral than other things because of Christianized western backgrounds. We need to to know right from wrong based on real truths - not cultural mores (arbitrary). We have to start afresh on a route to true morality, and drop often times what we were raised to believe.

Sexual desire - even in intimate stable relationships - is ultimately empty, (clinging), but not immoral. But having loving sex with your spouse is not a noble deed, nor will it bring an ounce of enlightenment.

Sexual desire is a tough subject to deal with. We men face a lot of societal pressure to be highly sexual, and we also deal with burning sexual desire from our natural sexual nature as males (testosterone). I know - I am a boy who burns with sexual desire at times. :embarassed:

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DooDoot
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

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StrivingforMonkhood wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:48 am We must be very careful in judging people based on their job.
the suttas refer to wrong livelihood in many places
StrivingforMonkhood wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:48 amThe West makes too much ado about sex, especially if no cheating or violence is going on (then it's even much more serious). Do not judge porn stars.
The above is called the "equanimity of the household life which is blind to the danger in sensual pleasures" in the suttas and is not related to striving for monkhood
StrivingforMonkhood wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:48 amWe think porn is more immoral than other things because of Christianized western backgrounds.
Wrong. We think porn is not immoral than other things because of Cultural Marxist western backgrounds.
StrivingforMonkhood wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:48 amWe need to to know right from wrong based on real truths - not cultural mores (arbitrary).
Porn is immoral based on real truths. It degrades women, it causes delusions in men, it causes sex addiction, it causes drug addiction in many porn performers plus suicide. It causes significant hindrances to meditation in the mind. That is why scientists even include it as a disease.
StrivingforMonkhood wrote: Thu May 06, 2021 12:48 amSexual desire is a tough subject to deal with. We men face a lot of societal pressure to be highly sexual, and we also deal with burning sexual desire from our natural sexual nature as males (testosterone). I know - I am a boy who burns with sexual desire at times.
The above appears to be an "acquired" unnatural sexual attitude or "cultural new-norm" but is believed to be natural.
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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mario92
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

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:goodpost:
Bundokji
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Re: Right livelihood in entertainment question

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mario92 wrote: Wed May 05, 2021 7:06 pm Namaste i want to ask a question: i see that some singers, movie stars or athletes (soccer, box, etc) are super rich they own millions of dollars, i want to ask if their way of making money is right livelihood? or if it is worth doing? I have this doubt because there is not win-win but win-lose. For example most of movies or tv shows use violence as their the central emphasis, or they kill an animal, etc. Thanks
One could ask: who does not act in a way or another when we earn money. Working is based on role playing.

Of course, morality is linked to intention. When role playing is the norm, it is no longer perceived as such. When there is a norm, there are exceptions of which the entertainment industry became designated as intentional acting. The role playing also seems to be a main cause of boredom, hence action/drama become needed. The boredom caused by constant role playing is what makes the entertainment industry a lucrative business.

Ironically, some philosophers made interesting comparisons between the theater and the church. In a theater, it is plainly written that money will not be returned, but you wont see this written on a church door.
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.
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