understanding conceit

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understanding conceit

Postby convivium » Thu Feb 21, 2013 12:42 am

conceit is explained as a sense of inferiority, equality, or superiority with respect to others. how does one understand a sense of equality or inferiority with others as a form of conceit (along the lines as feeling superior)?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: understanding conceit

Postby retrofuturist » Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:06 am

Greetings,

The sentence, "I am X compared to Y" is inherently faulty because all dhammas are not-self, and the attribution of such a dhamma to an agent (self or other) ignores this reality.

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: understanding conceit

Postby polarbuddha101 » Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:37 am

"Friends, even though a noble disciple has abandoned the five lower fetters, he still has with regard to the five clinging-aggregates a lingering residual 'I am' conceit, an 'I am' desire, an 'I am' obsession. But at a later time he keeps focusing on the phenomena of arising & passing away with regard to the five clinging-aggregates: 'Such is form, such its origin, such its disappearance. Such is feeling... Such is perception... Such are fabrications... Such is consciousness, such its origin, such its disappearance.' As he keeps focusing on the arising & passing away of these five clinging-aggregates, the lingering residual 'I am' conceit, 'I am' desire, 'I am' obsession is fully obliterated.

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."
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Re: understanding conceit

Postby ground » Thu Feb 21, 2013 3:37 am

Comparison is not required. It is just the arising sense of self being taken as self, I or mine. Affirmation of self implicitly affirms other. But sense of self just arises and subsides depending on conditions. There is nothing beyond mere conditioned arising and subsiding of sense of self. :sage:
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Re: understanding conceit

Postby pegembara » Thu Feb 21, 2013 6:53 am

Conceit in the sense mentioned is a measuring of oneself against another(same, better or worse). It is only there when there is a sense of self present. Without this sense of self, there is nothing to be compared with/against.
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Re: understanding conceit

Postby cooran » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:02 am

pegembara wrote:Conceit in the sense mentioned is a measuring of oneself against another(same, better or worse). It is only there when there is a sense of self present. Without this sense of self, there is nothing to be compared with/against.

Yes. Nyanatiloka, in his Pali-English Dictionary says:

Māna: 'conceit', pride, is one of the 10 mental chains binding to existence see: samyojana It vanishes completely only at the entrance to Arahatship, or Nobility cf. asmi-māna It is further one of the latent tendencies see: anusaya and defilements see: kilesa

The equality-conceit māna the inferiority-conceit omāna and the superiority-conceit atimāna this threefold conceit should be overcome. For, after overcoming this threefold conceit, the monk, through the full penetration of conceit, is said to have put an end suffering; A. VI, 49.

Those ascetics and brahman priests who, relying on this impermanent, miserable and transitory nature of materiality, feelings, perceptions, mental constructions and consciousness, fancy: 'Better am I', or 'Equal am I', or 'Worse am I', all these imagine thus through not understanding reality; S. XXII, 49.

In reality no ego-entity is to be found. Cf. anattā


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Re: understanding conceit

Postby Bhikkhu Pesala » Thu Feb 21, 2013 7:52 am

Conceit is very subtle, and difficult to remove. Only the Arahant is completely free from it.

Ajahn Chah said, “You have to be clever to get rid of the stupid defilements. To get rid of the clever defilements, you have to be a bit more stupid.”

That is, we need to use are intelligence to get rid of the stupid defilements like lust and anger. However, when our practice is going well, and we start thinking that we might be equal or superior to the teacher, then we need to rely more on faith and effort.

Someone with low self-esteem or an inferiority complex (hīnamāna) won't aspire to realise higher stages of insight and develop the Noble Path. He or she is liable to think, “I am just an ordinary monk or a lay person with lots of defilements. I cannot behave in a noble way like well-educated and mature lay Buddhists or famous monks and nuns. I don't need to abstain from idle chatter, laughing, joking, and watching stupid videos on YouTube.”
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Re: understanding conceit

Postby Sam Vara » Thu Feb 21, 2013 10:36 am

convivium wrote:conceit is explained as a sense of inferiority, equality, or superiority with respect to others. how does one understand a sense of equality or inferiority with others as a form of conceit (along the lines as feeling superior)?


I think what you mean is why do we refer to feeling equal or inferior to others as a conceit, when in normal language a "conceited" person is one who feels superior - better than others.

The answer is that the term "conceit" is being used here in a slightly more specialised and possibly old-fashioned way. It means here a "conception" or the results of mentally conceiving. Have a look at a dictionary definition and you can see the different meanings clearly;

con·ceit (kn-st)
n.
1. A favorable and especially unduly high opinion of one's own abilities or worth.
2. An ingenious or witty turn of phrase or thought.
3.
a. A fanciful poetic image, especially an elaborate or exaggerated comparison.
b. A poem or passage consisting of such an image.
4.
a. The result of intellectual activity; a thought or an opinion.
b. A fanciful thought or idea.
5.
a. A fancy article; a knickknack.
b. An extravagant, fanciful, and elaborate construction or structure:


The colloquial sense of feeling superior to others is represented by (1) above. But the meaning in the Suttas is more like (4a) or even (5b).

There are 3 "obsessions" (gaha) of craving, conceit, and views. They give rise to the three notions of "mine", "I am", and "my self". So conceit in this sense is the type of thinking which gives rise to the idea that there is a person existing. This person can be considered to be better than, worse than, or the same as other beings.
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Re: understanding conceit

Postby convivium » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:07 am

So then modesty and humility can still be valued (insofar as they don't necessarily entail a self-view; they just seem like opposite impulse to vanity i.e. not wanting others to know of one's good qualities). Could you juxtapose the self-view fetter eliminated by the stream enterer with the conceit eliminated by the arahat?
Just keep breathing in and out like this. Don't be interested in anything else. It doesn't matter even if someone is standing on their head with their ass in the air. Don't pay it any attention. Just stay with the in-breath and the out-breath. Concentrate your awareness on the breath. Just keep doing it. http://www.ajahnchah.org/book/Just_Do_It_1_2.php
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Re: understanding conceit

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:15 am

Greetings,

convivium wrote:Could you juxtapose the self-view fetter eliminated by the stream enterer with the conceit eliminated by the arahat?

In a nutshell, it's the belief in self, versus the (perverted) experience of a sense of self.

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: understanding conceit

Postby Mr Man » Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:03 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

convivium wrote:Could you juxtapose the self-view fetter eliminated by the stream enterer with the conceit eliminated by the arahat?

In a nutshell, it's the belief in self, versus the (perverted) experience of a sense of self.

Or the stream enterer realizes that the identification is false but still buys into it, the tendency to associate is still there but for the arahat there is no trace?
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Re: understanding conceit

Postby retrofuturist » Fri Feb 22, 2013 10:38 pm

Greetings Mr. Man,

Yeah, that works. Conceit is one of the seven anusaya (underlying tendencies).

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: understanding conceit

Postby SDC » Sat Feb 23, 2013 1:51 am

pegembara wrote:Conceit in the sense mentioned is a measuring of oneself against another(same, better or worse). It is only there when there is a sense of self present. Without this sense of self, there is nothing to be compared with/against.


Good post.



Just do what Ty Webb does...

Judge Smails: "Ty, what did you shoot today?"
Ty Webb: "Oh, judge, I don't keep score."
Judge Smails: "Then how do you measure yourself against other golfers?"
Ty Webb: "By height."

Bet you all thought Caddyshack wasn't dhamma-themed...well ha!
Through many of samsara’s births I hasten seeking, finding not the builder of this house - pain is birth again, again. O builder of this house you’re seen, you shall not build a house again, all your beams have given away, rafters of the ridge decayed, mind to the unconditioned gone, exhaustion of craving has it reached.(Dhp - 153, 154)
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