for snoopy... following on... from fran

Francis king

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I didn't want to derail the "anger/buddhism" thread or the "what do u believe" thread, so thought I'd read both and then come here and... furnish you with some insight... you might not want it, but such is life... I am compelled by my ego to perform for u, and so shall do it here...

For me, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with being both a) a person who understands the philosophy of buddhism and upholds it is the finest doctrine ever, as well as b) a person who has an active and dazzling relationship with something I call God(s)...

this does not feel strange to me, although plenty of ppl would like me to think it is... both of these beliefs are not mutually exclusive unless the individual wants them to be...

But then what I believe about both topics, God and buddhism, are not particularly conventional...

For me, buddhism is a fabulous philosophy which all beings can benefit from, a philosophy that aims to end suffering, both on an individual, personal "for the self" level, and then hopefully, once a person understands, they try to extend this practise, expand this vision to encompass others who also might benefit from it...

I do not think Buddha is a God, floating about on a cloud with his infinate wisdom in gay array... I do not think buddhism is a religion... I do not think it should be practised and followed in the way in which it often as, as I feel personally that it then loses it's flavour...

Ultimately, you yourself are the dharma, a word which means many things- law, righteousness, the doctrine...

An enlightened being is answerable to nobody but himself, a messiah or a visionary or a prophet does not speak about the prayers and dreams of others- he forges his own way, regardless of where that takes him- to the cross, for Jesus, for Buddha, away from God and towards the people...

...As for God... God is what everybody looks for, and never finds... God goes beyond the boundaries of culture and creed... and that is partly the reason why people never find him/her/it/them...

... of course, this seems bizzare... and yet...

I have always wanted to take up the robes, be my own archetypal buddha, and save the world... I have written the book, collected my favourite texts, designed the centre we will all one day visit, and I have even created a neat logo we will use on all our advertising... brand buddha, coming to a store near u, soon, but...

... in truth, what use is creating a pleasant enviroment for a load of lentil eating un-grateful deadheads if the only person I save is my own little self? I would like to think I could generate revenue to manage successful buddhist micro- and small scale businesses, create therapeutic communities for people with mental health problems, open a drug rehab centre, a nursing home, raise money to send poor kids on scholarships to become doctors and scientists... do my bit to save the world, where I can, but would I?

Would I instead sup my small beer, basking in the adoration of the lentil eaters, and sneak off to buy Armani loafers, then fly off to spend the summer in India, or Thailand, for a supposed retreat?

...and so, instead of there, in the robe, chanting sutras with the others, staring at the wall occasionally, collecting my library of texts, and getting further away from what I'm after with each passing day, I am instead somewhere else, in my metaphorical boiler suit, with my spanner in my hand, learning how to tinker with engines... I can't pick up the texts now, as I would sully them, with the oil and the grease from my hands... But that doesn't mean I don't remember what I read before...

Hand on heart? Buddhism is a vehicle... Buddha says this himself... If what I believe is the dharma worth mentioning has the capacity to fix this messed up crowd of people I see before me, suffering, then, if I have that realisation, if I have the skill, and I have the means, then I would be a miserable, selfish person not to try...

... what is a vehicle? Transportation... why do people need transportation? To take them to places they couldn't reach easily on foot...

...I want the whole world to travel in my vehicle...not just people who eat lentils, or the cashmere clad classes...

...unfortunately, I cannot carry many people upon the handlebars of my bicycle, and am saving up for a spaceship...

... I was thinking of hijacking someone elses' ride- taking a shortcut, so to speak, but the vehicles were usually, lacking somewhat...

and I do have standards...

...Instead then, I'm riding around the neighbourhood on my bike, occasionally tinkering with engines... maybe one day a devotee will give me a gold rolls royce, but until then... the bike does me fine...

after all, I don't want to carry passengers... I simply want to tinker with engines...
 

Snoopy

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So, it seems we don’t “get” each other then.

What may seem like “provoking” is only me trying to get my head round someone who appears to have an interest in Buddhism but makes comments that (to me, at least) seem almost diametrically opposed to it (e.g. your virtual dismissal of compassion as being of importance, when even a cursory examination shows otherwise, at least as I understand it. I would have thought compassion was an important element in any “religion.” This is just by way of an example, I don’t have an interest in exhuming anything). And then you go and post this, looking to be a bodhisattva!…

As I say, hard for me to understand…(as you don’t “get” me…)

My reference to understanding you a little more via that link was because in it you said stuff like “I believe in my own religion…and change my mind regularly, often on a daily basis, as to what I really believe...” which helps me to gauge what you say somewhat differently perhaps.

On the other hand, if I’d thought you were someone with whom I could find nothing in common I may not have “provoked” you at all in the first place, maybe that would have been better, or perhaps just a different sort of mistake on my part. I probably don’t interact with some on this forum to my own detriment…my loss.

s.
 

Francis king

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...my flippant comments might seem "diametrically opposed" to your conceptualisation of buddhism, yet...

In my version of buddhism, concepts such as compassion, by themselves, have no real merit... that is not to say that it (compassion) is worthless, but, that by itself, as an excuse, reason, justification, it's no weightier than any of the other myriad reasons for action, thought, or behaviour...

to me, compassion is not something that needs a fanfare, not something unusual, but something normal, something which usually occurs simply because we are human beings... we shouldn't expect medals for it... I do not hold it up as the summum bonnum, because I don't think it is, and I think compassion, like anything else, can become a fetter...

for me, the summum bonnum is... enlightenment... and insight... and that's not always sunshine and roses...

We have to live in the real world, and we have to play games here... we might like the idea of everything being rosy in the kingdom, but it isn't...

for instance, I am now working in an acute psychiatric facility... I am decent, non-judgemental, open, and compassionate.... but only up to a certain point... most of my patients, even though in the depths of their own hells, are decent people... they do not want to harm me, or anybody else... I can see this... to those, I relate as I would like to be related to... I try to help, where I can... at the same time, I have my radar... my radar detects people who I define as "that which starts with a "c" and rhymes with runt"... they exist... it would be foolishness for me to believe otherwise...

I dislike it when buddhism tells us, the humans, that we should aspire to be anything else but human... compassion is good, but too much? you'll get played for a fool, you could end up giving Carl Roger's Unconditional Positive Regard to a person, who, by rights, you're fearful of... when they kill you, it won't be your fault... no... it's the fault of the weirdo...

but, really... we know Mr X is weird... our radar has told us so... yet, in our desire to be the archetypal buddhist saint, we supress reason, try to be ultra-decent, we try to be something we're not, and we get hurt...

I really do ... "...believe in my own religion…and change my mind regularly, often on a daily basis, as to what I really believe...”

but, the basis, the foundation, remains the same...

I love many teachers, and philosophers- but I don't want to be them... I just want to be me, and do what i can, when I can...

...nobody expects much more from any of us than that, surely?

and that why I think that all doctrines, by themselves, are wrong... we live too closely to them, we miss something of what it is to be human, and gain insight...

...of course, tis just my opinion..

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Netti-Netti

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to me, compassion is not something that needs a fanfare, not something unusual, but something normal, something which usually occurs simply because we are human beings... we shouldn't expect medals for it...

Maybe accumulate some merit?

I do not hold it up as the summum bonnum, because I don't think it is, and I think compassion, like anything else, can become a fetter...
Insofar that compassion includes taking on other people's karma, it can become a major life challenge.
 

Francis king

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yes, Netti-Netti, but what is merit?

credits for heaven? badges of honour/acceptance/self-acceptance?... Objects/objectives we attain to accrue...?

...accrue what exactly?

Merit, as a buddhist concept, doesn't exist... what we call merit is really... phala... fruit...

the doctrine says that by conducting ourselves in a certain way we benefit, somehow, our effort (virya) bears fruit (phala)... this "merit" is not given to us by a God, or a doctrine, it is not bargaining chips, jewels we gather to adorn ourselves with so we dazzle others with our brilliance, and avoid "Hell"...

surely?

Otherwise, what we do is not really what we do, and we delude ourselves...

...I don't think we can take on another's karma... their "making and measuring" is unique to them... it's their field, if you like...

its the result of life, their name and form, their tastes, their birth, their feelings, contacts, sources, etc... you might have the same contacts, and use the same sense organs to process the world's stimuli (hopefully), but your field and their field will ever be 100% totally the same...

where a person is, their field, begets their karma... how they make and measure their field matters, for the field will hopefully, later, bear sweet fruit...

and so,the individual toils their field... in an ideal world, they root out weeds, they add nourishment to the soil, and from this field, grows good fruit, grows "good" karma, or the samyagkarmanta... "the -perfect -making -and -measuring [that is]- without end/measure", which is one of pada, or rays, of the noble eightfold path...

so, this is just my opinion... but also is in the rice seedling sutra, cited in hopkins' "meditation on emptiness" and also by tenzin Gyatso's commentary and translation of bodhi-patha-pradipa we find the same thing explained in the same way... I happen to believe that both hopkins and gyatso are correct in their commentaries and explanations...although we might all just be daft, deluded creatures...
 

Snoopy

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Merit, as a buddhist concept, doesn't exist... what we call merit is really... phala... fruit...

How do we talk about Buddhism without me ever making reference to the suttas then?

“Of all the concepts central to Buddhism, merit (puñña) is one of the least known and least appreciated in the West.”

Merit

s.
 

earl

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Yes indeed Snoopy. Merit isn't about building brownie points. It's about building momentum. Odd anyone, whether Buddhist or not, might suggest that compassion is wholly unrelated and divorced from wisdom. The Buddhist 8-fold path is often described as the natural way an enlightened individual would act- as well as the factors necessary to its attainment. Wisdom without compassion is not reflective of a state of enlightenment, nor is compassion without wisdom reflective of true enlightenment. earl
 

seattlegal

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Yes indeed Snoopy. Merit isn't about building brownie points. It's about building momentum. Odd anyone, whether Buddhist or not, might suggest that compassion is wholly unrelated and divorced from wisdom. The Buddhist 8-fold path is often described as the natural way an enlightened individual would act- as well as the factors necessary to its attainment. Wisdom without compassion is not reflective of a state of enlightenment, nor is compassion without wisdom reflective of true enlightenment. earl
It's like only using half of your facilities, or having your engine fire on only half of the pistons, {there's that building momentum thing, again ;)} imo. **shrugs**
 

Francis king

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aka... panya, fruit..

but in truth, compassion is not part of the noble eightfold path...

we have... in no specific order...

*samyaksamadhi-complete, perfect, insight...
*samyaksamkalpa-complete, perfect, construction...
*samyakvirya- complete, perfect, effort...
*samyagkarmanta- complete, perfect, end of all karma...
*samyagdrsti-complete, perfect, sight...
*samyakvac-complete, perfect, speech...
*samyaksamsati-complete, perfect, mindfulness...
*samyakjiva-complete, perfect, livelihood...

I know you all like references....so, I borrowed that from Narada, "the buddha and his teachings, fourth edition, 1988...

so, yeah, great, noble eightfold path... follow that- and bobs ur uncle- u become enlightened... rubbish!!!!!!!!

if only it was that simple... in truth, instead of there just being the noble eightfold path.... there is more to it than that... in fact, there's quite a bit more to it...

the noble eightfold path, by itself, will not make you a buddha...

there are supposedly 37 contributory factors or states to enlightenment... ("bodhipaksikadharma")

they are...

1,2,3,4... the four states of mindfulness(smrtyupasthana)...
5,6,7,8... the four proper lines of exertion(samyakprahana)...
9,10,11,12...the four steps towards supramundane powers(rddhipada)...
13,14,15,16,17...the five spiritual faculties(panca-indrayani)...
18,19,20,21,22...the five transcendental powers(panca-bala)...
23,24,25,26,27,28,29...the seven degress of enlightenment...saptabodhyanga)...
and then... the noble eightfold path...arya-asta-marga..(30,31,32,33,34,35,36,37)

(the 37 factors taken from... the vilamakirtinidesasutra, translated by Charles Luk...unknown date...)

...nowhere in these groups of powers and faculties and efforts does compassion appear...

yes, compassion is considered to be one part of what is often translated to mean- "sublime states" or "one of the four boundless minds" (catur-ari-upa-manani... the four minds beyond enemies... ), but these "boundless minds" are also known by another name... the brahma-viharas, or "seats, or abodes of Brahma")...

The boundless minds, or abodes of Brahma... places for the Gods...

"...friendliness to all creatures (maitri-bhavana)...", "...pramudita (boundless joy)...", "...upakesa (above snakes/equanimity)...", "...karuna (compassion)..."...

yet... none of these bramhavihara are considered to be factors in a person's enlightement... yes, they are often referred to as "the four immeasurables", considered something worthy of pursuit and cultivation, yet, alone, by themselves, or even coupled with the noble eightfold path, there is more to enlightenment than simply being "good" and "doing what you are told"...

...or so I believe...
 
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Francis king

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so, then... for actions to be deemed "good" or "bad", meritorious, or unmeritorious, depends on what?

... based on what? some arbitrary designation of what is good or bad, regardless of the situation, regardless of the context, regardless of the outcomes, regardless of a persons' immediate options?

...rubbish... and so then, by the same token, a person can hardly profess to be enlightened when they are basing their actions and thoughts on... erroneous views, or ignorance, or holding to wrong opinions, no matter how much "merit" they think they have accrued...

...If I fashioned a cult tommorrow, and told people that standing on their heads while sticking a banana up their own bums was a sure-fire way to enlightenment, I would still get recruits... not as many as I would if I promised them fame and fortune, or great virtue and the higher status which comes from accruing this non-sensical non-merit, but some would come, eager to molest and humiliate themselves for a chance of greatness...
 

earl

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You are so right Francis, that there is no guaranteed sure fire recipe for enlightenment. Compassionate actions though are typically considered part of right action in the 8-fold path. But bottom line, enlightened folk simply "are" compassionate.;) earl
 

Netti-Netti

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the 37 factors taken from... the vilamakirtinidesasutra...

The Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra describes Dharma-sacrifice:
It consists of the great love which is consummated in enlightenment; of the great compassion which is consummated in the concentration of the holy Dharma on the liberation of all living beings; of the great joy which is consummated in the awareness of the supreme happiness of all living beings; and of the great equanimity which is consummated in concentration through knowledge.
Source: Vimalakirti Nirdesa Sutra

I didn't know what "Compassion" meant until I heard a Japanese Buddhist pronounce the word. He used the word to evoke the ability to move mountains, the power to overcome all obstacles, and the courage to effectuate skillful applications of wisdom. It was the furthest from passive acceptance or marshmello sentimentality.
 

Francis king

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dharma-sacrifice...?

"I never knew what compassion meant until I heard..."

as much as a love ur sincerity, Netti... hahahahahahahahahahahah....

y'all see... this is kinda my point...

why can't you all be impressed by magic powers, lightening shooting from ur fingertips? The power to communicate with the mind, the power to know all things? Why instead is this... not meaning to offend...this miserable, wet, gushy hippy stuff what ppl want?

I honestly don't get it... this is my issue... yeah, I'm a bore, I bring it up all the time, but...

there's two pitches... one pitch...gives you the hearts and flowers, and the feeling like ur having sex with God, or some archetype, comsummating something, which, in all likelihood, will get you nowhere worth talking about, and then you can have pitch2, which says... alll that magic, crazy wisdom you all love to hear from the mouths of the gurus? It's all true...

enlightenment? woo! proper magic! but...

boundless joy? sounds like bi-polar disorder to me... wringing ur hands wanting to save the world with ur overflowing compassion? sounds like neurosis... treating all beings equally, even when you know what they have done, what they are capable of in the future? sounds like a dangerous delusion... I can manage the maitri-bhavana, or being friendly to all creatures bit, but its hardly limitless...
 

Netti-Netti

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The bodhisattva vow fires on shunyata and karuna

The Bodhisattva vows can be considered an expression of the person's aspirations. It can also be considered an actual step toward creating a spiritual reality. This assumes that the individual's practice is not strictly concerned with cultivating a mental attitude of generosity or loving kindness and entails an interactive aspect of participating in the world to alleviate the suffering of others.

there is no guaranteed sure fire recipe for enlightenment.
The Buddha became enlightened after extensive meditation over a continuous period of 49 days. However, it is unclear whether meditation actually had anything to do with it.

Enlightenment may very well be accidental - like an unexpected flash of insight. Mental work may not be the key. In the literature there is reference to the fact that scholars are the worst prospects for Enlightenment.



 

Netti-Netti

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... wringing ur hands wanting to save the world with ur overflowing compassion? sounds like neurosis...
According to the Buddha, wanting to save the world is a fairly straightforward logical development for someone who is paying attention.

Note that the Four Noble truths appear to be ordered sequentially to reflect the fact that one realization follows from another in a series of stepwise realizations, such that one implies the next:

1. Existence is subject to dukkha - life is suffering
2. Suffering is caused by desire
3. Suffering can be alleviate through the extinction of desire
4. Extinction of desire via the Noble Eightfold Path.



so, yeah, great, noble eightfold path... follow that- and bobs ur uncle- u become enlightened... rubbish!!!!!!!!
Errr... the Eightfold Path is not concerned with becoming enlightened. It's concerned with achieving a cessation of dukkha by extinguishing desire in this world. See Noble Truth #4 above.
 

Netti-Netti

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there's two pitches... one pitch...gives you the hearts and flowers, and the feeling like ur having sex with God, or some archetype, comsummating something, which, in all likelihood, will get you nowhere worth talking about, and then you can have pitch2, which says... alll that magic, crazy wisdom you all love to hear from the mouths of the gurus? It's all true...
I actually like both kinds :) but I think they're primary and secondary variations on the same basic "Pitch" about transcending limits and overcoming faulty thinking and realligning the misguided motives that stem from the mental confusion.

Whereas the second variant is someone else talking about it, the first is experiential and, as such, subsumed within a broader class of Peak Experiences:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peak_experiences

See also Creative Flow:
[URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)[/URL]
 
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