Free Will - its scope and purpose

17th Angel

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Dhammapada 1:1-5

1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.

2. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

3. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.

4. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.

5. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.

Yeah.... That works well, on paper.
 

Snoopy

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Actually only the first one or two would fit the golden rule, since saying:

"I will do for myself as I wish others to do for themselves." Like exercising, can also be expressed as:

"I will not do for others as I wish them to not do for me." Again, the apathetic or inhibitive version.

So it has to be for others:
"I will do unto others as I would have them do unto me."


Hi cyberpi,

Not sure how I ever got involved in this thread on this forum and don’t wish to hijack it but would just like to comment once more on here. Thereafter I imagine I’ll be in another garden…

Yes, I can see that your re-wording of the bodhisattva vow is more mirror like. In zen the ideal mind is as a mirror, unclouded by conceptual thoughts. Maybe the wishing for how others might treat us is absent because Buddhism is a psychological toolkit to improve ourselves in the first instance, rather than reliance on others or an outside agency.

I agree about your comment regarding the first line or two of the vow; I should have bolded these in my original post as being the appropriate ones.

The oldest teachings of Buddhism (Theravada) can be said to focus on the practitioner as this must precede that of others (rather like one having to love oneself before one can love others). Later schools (Mahayana) distinguish themselves from Theravada primarily around the bodhisattva ideal. The whole thrust of Mahayana was/is to focus on others rather than oneself. This is not to ignore one’s own life however as all beings interconnect (the analogy of Indra’s net) so treat others as you would like to be treated…

Regarding your point about meditating for others; amongst all the Buddhist meditations, many are concerned with this. Perhaps the most well known is metta bhavana (the cultivation of loving-kindness). Briefly this is to develop the mind’s positive relationships with oneself, a close friend, a neutral person, a person you don’t like and finally, all beings.

Sorry again for minor hijack, didn’t want you to think I’d ignored your comments. Back to the topic then…

s.
 

17th Angel

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Ah-ha! Doubt! :p

If, I broke into your house, knocked you out, and stole your most expensive possessions.... And then say a few weeks later you picked up a newspaper with a mug shot of me on the front, you're there with a friend or whatever, you telling me you would'nt be like; "that's the £"%£!$£! that robbed me!" It is human, to hold grudge and to point them little index fingers..
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3. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.

4. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.
 

seattlegal

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If, I broke into your house, knocked you out, and stole your most expensive possessions.... And then say a few weeks later you picked up a newspaper with a mug shot of me on the front, you're there with a friend or whatever, you telling me you would'nt be like; "that's the £"%£!$£! that robbed me!" It is human, to hold grudge and to point them little index fingers..
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3. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.

4. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.
Yep. We cling to our chains of hate.

Would turning this person in to the authorities so he couldn't cause further suffering to others be hateful?
 

17th Angel

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If there are supreme beings, who truly is the authority? ;/

Be on the subject of turning in a criminal, what if it is for death sentence? You have been the seal on his fate. He will die. Or what if the arresting him causes him pain and suffering? Prison.... Is, something else... I know one man only had a five year sentence.. Car theft.. In a max security prision with armed robbers rapists and killers.... Couldn't handle it.. Took his own life. Hmm..
 

seattlegal

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If there are supreme beings, who truly is the authority? ;/

Be on the subject of turning in a criminal, what if it is for death sentence? You have been the seal on his fate. He will die. Or what if the arresting him causes him pain and suffering? Prison.... Is, something else... I know one man only had a five year sentence.. Car theft.. In a max security prision with armed robbers rapists and killers.... Couldn't handle it.. Took his own life. Hmm..
Can one person purify another? We certainly have the power to forgive, and can be quite empowering to those who are repentant and wish to change their ways (those who honestly wish to purify themselves?)
 

Dondi

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To forgive..... Only wipes the slate clean... That slate isn't repaired by forgivness.... There were, dents, scratches and bumps in it before and after forgivness.... So no, we can only wipe it clean, but not fix it.


But forgiveness is the beginning of healing.
 

cyberpi

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Dhammapada 1:1-5

1. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows him, as the wheel follows the foot of the ox that draws the carriage.

2. All that we are is the result of what we have thought: it is founded on our thoughts, it is made up of our thoughts. If a man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows him, like a shadow that never leaves him.

3. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who harbour such thoughts hatred will never cease.

4. 'He abused me, he beat me, he defeated me, he robbed me,'--in those who do not harbour such thoughts hatred will cease.

5. For hatred does not cease by hatred at any time: hatred ceases by love, this is an old rule.
Do you read the golden rule there? I don't see it.

I have found that Line 1 and 2 can be true, but are due to God (Abrahamic perspective)... someone living with a real intelligence that far exceeds people and anyone's power here beyond comparison. If not God, then an advocate. I consider Lines 3 and 4 would render a person a brainless slave to someone else's sins. I consider them dead wrong... misguided. Perhaps a starting point for some though. With Line 5, I would seek understanding of a person's definition of the words first, especially among people claiming to be Christian. Too ambiguous. There are two people in a relationship, not one, and the common faculties are seeing, hearing, thinking, speaking, and taking action... which one judges what is loving and hateful and which faculties are involved? Since line #3 and #4 helped flat-line a person's mind then I must say that line #5 is also flat wrong. Whereas in another aspect I consider it true... there is ambiguity in #5 to be removed.
 

cyberpi

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The oldest teachings of Buddhism (Theravada) can be said to focus on the practitioner as this must precede that of others (rather like one having to love oneself before one can love others). Later schools (Mahayana) distinguish themselves from Theravada primarily around the bodhisattva ideal. The whole thrust of Mahayana was/is to focus on others rather than oneself. This is not to ignore one’s own life however as all beings interconnect (the analogy of Indra’s net) so treat others as you would like to be treated…

Regarding your point about meditating for others; amongst all the Buddhist meditations, many are concerned with this. Perhaps the most well known is metta bhavana (the cultivation of loving-kindness). Briefly this is to develop the mind’s positive relationships with oneself, a close friend, a neutral person, a person you don’t like and finally, all beings.
Cheers Snoopy,
Thank you to both Tariki and yourself in your efforts to open a door, introduce, and educate. I see some struggle and I personally like it because I know it will be fruitful in ways I don't fathom. I wish that I was more educated in Buddhism and so I will be someday. I submit that a person demonstrates a strength or wisdom being able to walk in fire without being burned... so I'd say be free to walk in this forum whenever you get the chance.
 

Snoopy

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Cheers Snoopy,
Thank you to both Tariki and yourself in your efforts to open a door, introduce, and educate. I see some struggle and I personally like it because I know it will be fruitful in ways I don't fathom. I wish that I was more educated in Buddhism and so I will be someday. I submit that a person demonstrates a strength or wisdom being able to walk in fire without being burned... so I'd say be free to walk in this forum whenever you get the chance.


Actually I think I just saw the topic and didn’t notice the forum! I know it’s not a closed shop but I wasn’t trying to turn a topic in this forum into a Buddhist affair. So maybe I was walking on hot coals and didn’t burn my feet because I hadn’t looked down! :eek:

On a more general point, and I’m sure this has been thrashed out elsewhere somewhere, but with only (possibly) one lifetime to research, choose and follow (bit crudely put I know) a spiritual path, there is the constraint of time (and effort!) on us all, to perhaps make our choices on limited information. It would (for example) take several lifetimes to inwardly digest all the Buddhist suttas (scriptures) and that’s just one flavour on offer! Time for an analogy I think; one can only test drive so many cars before one has to weigh up what you’ve tried and actually get in one for the journey. There may be equally attractive cars that you later see but…OK that’s enough analogy.

Otherwise I can see myself an old man (hopefully), lying on my death bed (bit grim), stroking my beard and musing “hmmm, Wicca or Sikhism I think, and does a bit of Vodun go with those?…”

Maybe this ramble was about free will after all!

s.
 

pattimax

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Actually I think I just saw the topic and didn’t notice the forum! I know it’s not a closed shop but I wasn’t trying to turn a topic in this forum into a Buddhist affair. So maybe I was walking on hot coals and didn’t burn my feet because I hadn’t looked down! :eek:

On a more general point, and I’m sure this has been thrashed out elsewhere somewhere, but with only (possibly) one lifetime to research, choose and follow (bit crudely put I know) a spiritual path, there is the constraint of time (and effort!) on us all, to perhaps make our choices on limited information. It would (for example) take several lifetimes to inwardly digest all the Buddhist suttas (scriptures) and that’s just one flavour on offer! Time for an analogy I think; one can only test drive so many cars before one has to weigh up what you’ve tried and actually get in one for the journey. There may be equally attractive cars that you later see but…OK that’s enough analogy.

Otherwise I can see myself an old man (hopefully), lying on my death bed (bit grim), stroking my beard and musing “hmmm, Wicca or Sikhism I think, and does a bit of Vodun go with those?…”

Maybe this ramble was about free will after all!

s.

When you are test driving, it's good to get some facts.

Some statements about Buddhism:
  • There is no authority figure.
  • There are no set rituals.
  • It avoids or renounces all metaphysical musings or pronouncements.
  • There are no traditions- it transcends all traditional beliefs.
  • Self effort is essential to obtaining enlightenment- it is not given.
  • There is no Supernatural element: All that is an aspect of “all-that-is”.
  • No God in the sense of a personal being who created the Universe.
  • No soul or self.
  • No heaven or hell- only ignorance and enlightenment (and even that distinction is erased once enlightenment is attained.)

This all might sound really good on the surface. With Buddhism, who knows…

I prefer the unchanging presence of my sweet, wise Savior.
 

Snoopy

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When you are test driving, it's good to get some facts.

Some statements about Buddhism:
  • There is no authority figure.
  • There are no set rituals.
  • It avoids or renounces all metaphysical musings or pronouncements.
  • There are no traditions- it transcends all traditional beliefs.
  • Self effort is essential to obtaining enlightenment- it is not given.
  • There is no Supernatural element: All that is an aspect of “all-that-is”.
  • No God in the sense of a personal being who created the Universe.
  • No soul or self.
  • No heaven or hell- only ignorance and enlightenment (and even that distinction is erased once enlightenment is attained.)


Here’s some alternative “facts”!:

1. There is an authority figure (depending on how you define this) i.e. Shakyamuni Buddha.
2. There are set rituals, which vary from school to school.
3. Buddhist cosmology does include heavens and hells, just different from the Christian one (there’s no monopoly on these words).

The other points I would either concur with (happily) or talk about on an appropriate forum, which is clearly not this one! I knew I should have stayed out of this garden!

s.
 

pattimax

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Actually, it was your suggestion, I just went with it. Buddhism has it's own forum. I think the discipline is interesting, but that is it. Buddhism stresses the importance of elucidating the mind through direct contemplative experience. It can be fun stuff.

But there is no Savior. No eternal life. NOTHING real.
Jesus Christ lives.:)
 

shadowman

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what makes you buddhists so sure you arent denying god. that makes god angry. you wouldnt like ogd when hes angry
 
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