masturbation what's wrong?

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:36 am

Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Basically, it seems that the problem here is that hand-defilement is simply naughty.

Well, Tilt, unfortunately you have ignored most of my previous post, and you have oversimplified it, and you apparently have profoundly misunderstood it, because your response is as if you are responding to your own preconceived notions rather than to what I actually wrote. Maybe look at what you chose to leave out. Or not. Whatever you decide.

So that's where this discussion takes us.

Let me look at your msg again.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Individual » Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:28 am

Jechbi wrote:Well, I think in that case you're talking about sampajanna.

From the Mahasatipatthana Sutta:
Again, a monk, when going foward or back, is clearly aware of what he is doing, in looking forward or back he is clearly aware of what he is doing, in bending and stretching he is clearly aware of what he is doing, in carrying his inner and outer robe and his bowl he is clearly aware of what he is doing, in eating, drinking, chewing and savouring he is clearly aware of what he is doing, in passing excrement or urine he is clearly aware of what he is doing, in walking, standing, sitting, falling asleep and waking up, in speaking or staying silent, he is clearly aware of what he is doing. So he abides contemplating the body as body internally, externally, both internally and externally ... And he abides independent, not clinging to anything in the world. And that, monks, is how a monk abides contemplating body as body.
I don't see how that would ever lead to ejaculation.

Psychologists can demonstrate that a certain degree of pleasure is felt even during urination and excretion. Sexual pleasure involves a similar stimulation of pleasure nerves and secretion of fluids. Well, if it possible for a monk to be mindful during urination and excretion, to have non-craving during such things, it seems plausible for such to occur during ejaculation (or the female orgasm). But he would not actively dwell on the thoughts or engage in the activities that would lead to such an occurrence in the first place, except perhaps for the medical reasons various people have described.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 3:38 am

You're right, I left out listening to music. But that doesn't make your point. Look, a person can do any one of these things, including masturbating, and there's probably no need for hiri to be involved, granted. Yet my view is that activities with no redeeming values -- including masturbation -- are incompatable with sampajanna.


So, your view is that sampajañña requires there be a redeeming value, but what redeeming value might there be in a mind with lust? The Satipatthana Sutta sees value as long as we see what we see mindfully.

And to the extent that listening to music has no redeeming value, I'd include that as well, (although I'd add that different minds work differently, and I can understand how in theory listening to music might have a redeeming value for someone). But masturbation, at least as it's been discussed here most of the time, is a raw pursuit of sense pleasure, nothing else.


Again, with the redeeming value. Where in the texts is it written that of what we are to be mindful must have some sort of redeeming value, and who decides what is redeeming value? You? You for you, no doubt, but that is hardly objective.

So, if we are sitting in meditation and the mind produces crap that has no redeeming value, we get up and do something redeeming such as going, coming, looking forward and backward, bending, stretching the body, eating drinking, chewing, tasting, pooping, peeing, standing, sitting walking, falling asleep?

As for self-pleasuring, there are many motivations of self-pleasuring, as has been pointed out. A raw pursuit of sense pleasure might be one, but since, according to you, that has no redeeming value, we should not do it, and if we do it there is no possibility whatsoever of actually paying attention to what we are doing.

But I would say that if we engage in the pursuit of sense pleasure as a habit to make ourselves feel better, then we lack insight, and sampajanna is ruled out, in my view.


Habit? You are continually freighting this with value judgments; however, it we apply mindfulness/ sampajañña to our habitual actions, we might gain insight, we might see enough to break free of them.

Granted, probably all of us engage in the pursuit of sense pleasures of one kind or another. Do I think that makes us all bad? No. But I think that at those moments, we fool ourselves if we believe that during the pursuit of sense pleasures we are simultaneously engaging sampajanna.


Human beings have a great capacity for self-deception. First of all, in the scheme of things self-pleasuring is fairly innocuous, hardly the naughty thing so many make it out to be. That is not say that it cannot be abused, misused.

But where are the limits of where we can and cannot look at the things we do?

The "no distractions of another person's needs and reactions" is what makes masturbation more rawly selfish.


“Rawly selfish?” Again, with the value judgments. So, if I have no sexual partner and I would like to have an orgasm for whatever reason, I am being “rawly selfish,” but if I have a partner and I want an orgasm, my engaging her for that goal is devoid of any selfishness?

The presence of another human being with needs is not a distraction, but a reminder of why this sexual union may be the skillful thing to do in this moment.


Why would it be any more skilful in the moment than any other action, such as abstaining from giving into the pressures of the body to couple?

The best lovers are selfless lovers; they climax selflessly.


One gives to get.

Generally speaking, I think we also can consider whether it's possible for sampajanna to compatible with every activity. To the extent that the activity is motivated by greed, hate and/or delusion, I would say no.


Then you will never be free of greed, hatred, and delusion.

For example, the act of beating someone up is not compatible with sampajanna, although certainly it is possible to beat someone up mindfully and with awareness. But you can't do it with clear comprehension, because as soon as you comprehend, you stop.


Clear comprehension is not an intellectual activity. If one is genuinely mindful, one is not going to beat up another.

For example, having sex with our spouse. In those moments, how do we engage with our world? Ideally, with sampajanna, recognizing the subtle arising of greed, hate and delusion from moment to moment, and not pursuing those impulses, not feeding them. That's the problem with masturbation, in my view.


“Not tonight, dear, I have sampajañña.” Maybe you are assuming that masturbation requires pornography and some sort of debased, drooling mind set.

I am not advocating whacking-off as a Dhamma practice, or saying that it is even possible, though it might be possible to pay attention to what one is doing, to the mind states, the physical reactions and such as things progress. It certainly is possible to do all that as one poops, from the initial inkling to the flush of the toilet.

Now, here is a line-by-line response to your msg. Damdifino what you are saying that I supposedly did not understand. Let me know.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:09 am

tiltbillings wrote:Let me look at your msg again.

Thanks, Tilt. While you're doing that, I'd like to offer that here's where I think you're right:
- The act of masturbation is too often needlessly a source of guilt.
- Nor is it necessarily a precept violation.
- When we bring mindfulness to the fore, it can help temper the flames of passion in any situation.

And here's where I think my comments are weak:
- A lot of this is purely academic, because for the most part sampajanna won't be part of the equation for most people.
- It's hypocritical to suggest that one person's pursuit of sense pleasure is somehow less skillful than another person's pursuit of sense pleasure. It depends on the situation.
- Pretty much everything we do is "selfish," unless we're arahants, in which case this entire discussion is pointless.

Any way, I've tried to get some points across that I thought would be helpful for everyone. At this stage, though, based on the feelings that are arising on my part, and based on the seeming misunderstanding that my comments appear to fuel, I have the sense that I need to listen more and talk less.

With respect

ps -- as I was posting this, your response appeared. Among the misunderstandings, in no particular order:
- I did not say that clear comprehension is an intellectual activity.
- The notion of “Not tonight, dear, I have sampajañña” does not reflect what I said in terms of being fully aware throughout the union, including during orgasm.
- Mindfulness is not synonymous with sampajanna.
- I did not say that sampajañña requires that there be a redeeming value. As I recall, you are the one who introduced the notion of "redeeming value," so I was trying to be responsive to your post.
- The notion of "habit" is not a value judgment on my part.

Honestly, Tilt, the discussion has gone in a direction that appears to me to be unproductive. At this stage, I'd just be trying to clarify what I said, and you'd be telling me that I was unclear, and "Damdifino" how to speak in a language that conveys my points so that you could understand them. I guess I'm not that good a writer.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:25 am

- I did not say that clear comprehension is an intellectual activity.


I did not say that you did, though your position was not clear, thus my statement.

- The notion of “Not tonight, dear, I have sampajañña” does not reflect what I said in terms of being fully aware throughout the union, including during orgasm.


But it plays off your statement that it is impossible to have sampajañña while self-pleasuring, though possible to have such while doing the ins and outs.

- Mindfulness is not synonymous with sampajanna.


Depends upon how one uses the word.

- I did not say that sampajañña requires that there be a redeeming value. As I recall, you are the one who introduced the notion of "redeeming value," so I was trying to be responsive to your post.


And context of my using that expression?

- The notion of "habit" is not a value judgment on my part.


“Habit” is a word that often goes with self-pleasuring often the context of dismissing is a selfish, unwholesome activity.

Honestly, Tilt, the discussion has gone in a direction that appears to me to be unproductive. At this stage, I'd just be trying to clarify what I said, and you'd be telling me that I was unclear, and "Damdifino" how to speak in a language that conveys my points so that you could understand them. I guess I'm not that good a writer.


I can only shrug my shoulders. I would not take any of this too seriously. My only point is that the body-negative/sex-negative response often seen in relation to self-pleasuring is more unwholesome than the activity itself.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:39 am

Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:
Jechbi wrote:- I did not say that clear comprehension is an intellectual activity.

I did not say that you did ...
You strongly implied it when you wrote this to refute a statement I had made:
tiltbillings wrote:Clear comprehension is not an intellectual activity.


And regarding this:
tiltbillings wrote:And context of my using that expression [redeeming value]?

I directly quoted you in context and resonded in context. Here's your quote again:
tiltbillings wrote:Interestingly, you left out listening to music in your response to the list of things, but is sense pleasure is all that bad that we cannot abide in it once in a while? No bowl of popcorn, no video games, no looking at sunsets, no movies, no anything that has no redeeming value.


tiltbillings wrote:I can only shrug my shoulders. I would not take any of this too seriously.
I always take you seriously, Tilt. Except when you're joking.
tiltbillings wrote:My only point is that the body-negative/sex-negative response often seen in relation to self-pleasuring is more unwholesome than the activity itself.
Sometimes that's probably true. Sometimes. Regardless, I hope I have not exhibited that response, and if it appears to you that I have, then once again it's evidence of my lack of ability to convey my true meaning to you.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 4:49 am

Jechbi wrote:Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:
Jechbi wrote:- I did not say that clear comprehension is an intellectual activity.

I did not say that you did ...
You strongly implied it when you wrote this to refute a statement I had made:
tiltbillings wrote:Clear comprehension is not an intellectual activity.


If you say so, but I don't.

And regarding this:
tiltbillings wrote:And context of my using that expression [redeeming value]?

I directly quoted you in context and resonded in context. Here's your quote again:
tiltbillings wrote:Interestingly, you left out listening to music in your response to the list of things, but is sense pleasure is all that bad that we cannot abide in it once in a while? No bowl of popcorn, no video games, no looking at sunsets, no movies, no anything that has no redeeming value.


And that was in response to your finding "redeeming values" in a list of things such as tea drinking and novel reading, but none in self-pleasuring. The notion started with you.

tiltbillings wrote:I can only shrug my shoulders. I would not take any of this too seriously.
I always take you seriously, Tilt. Except when you're joking.


I wouldn't. I am always joking even when I am not, except I am serious about it even when I am.

tiltbillings wrote:My only point is that the body-negative/sex-negative response often seen in relation to self-pleasuring is more unwholesome than the activity itself.
Sometimes that's probably true. Sometimes. Regardless, I hope I have not exhibited that response, and if it appears to you that I have, then once again it's evidence of my lack of ability to convey my true meaning to you.
I can only shrug my shoulders again. I thought you wre clear enough.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:09 am

Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:And that was in response to your finding "redeeming values" in a list of things such as tea drinking and novel reading, but none in self-pleasuring. The notion started with you.
You're mistaken about this. If you seach the thread for the phrase "redeeming values," you'll find that you made first mention of it.

tiltbillings wrote:I am always joking even when I am not, except I am serious about it even when I am.
Nevertheless, I take you seriously.

tiltbillings wrote:
Jechbi wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:My only point is that the body-negative/sex-negative response often seen in relation to self-pleasuring is more unwholesome than the activity itself.
Sometimes that's probably true. Sometimes. Regardless, I hope I have not exhibited that response, and if it appears to you that I have, then once again it's evidence of my lack of ability to convey my true meaning to you.
I can only shrug my shoulders again. I thought you wre clear enough.
Well, in all honesty, I don't believe I was conveying a body-negative or sex-negative response, particularly insofar as I suggested that it's possible to engage in sexual intercourse mindfully and selflessly. I don't believe a person exhibiting a body-negative/sex-negative response would speak positively about sex as I have done. So I don't know why you say this about me.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby nathan » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:28 am

It must be interesting to be like those who've found both their sexual experience and their relationships to be sufficiently monotone that it could be conceivable to make rationally moral and ethical pronouncements about sensuality and responsibility that make sense in the context of awareness of the truth about the nature of being beyond remaining constant in an awareness that one is simply avoiding what are clearly knowable to oneself as obvious forms of abuse of oneself or others. I'm not sure if I should pity such people or envy them.

I was sitting by the river today, the wind gusting across the water, sending waves of diamonds bouncing about in the summer sun. Am I supposed to turn away or just blush when I experience something like that which impresses itself both as deeply sensual and also as elementally and entirely impersonal? Should I have locked myself in the closet for the duration of what has been such a beautiful day just because it turns me on? If I've found sexual intercourse equally impersonal at moments in the heat of the very passion of it, or even painful, or unpleasant, or a million other things does that mean I've erred somehow simply because I'm paying very intense attention to ALL that in it's vast diversity of combination arises in my consciousness and by means of the senses and the body while engaged in what can also be such a very deep form of therapy, communication and bonding with a member of the opposite sex? If I've determined that, in itself, all forms of sensuality are essentially arising within my own body, mind and senses regardless of whether anyone else is involved or not should I forbid others from ever touching me again simply because I know it to be true that my sensuality is fundamentally entirely my own and that I can turn it on and off like a tap if I so choose? Turning my sex impulses almost entirely off is more or less what I have done, having, as far as I can see, figured all of this stuff out some time ago. I keep that form of awareness turned on just the slightest little bit because other people generally relax better around a more conventionally sexual being. I don't think I actually have any natural responses to the sexuality of others anymore, I have to conjure the stuff up now out of the same smoke and mirrors that everything else comes from.

It seems like a silly game to me now somehow, the whole societal song and dance with all of it's taboos, pretenses and protocols. Seems like regardless of how much wisdom we acquire from elsewhere, western society will never get this one simple part of life straightened out to the point where they could actually build a healthy society based on rational sexual mores but instead continue to look for new ways to develop new bases for their profound sexual, social and ethical perversions. It's kind of sad to see buddhism put to the purpose especially since attitudes in the east have appeared so much healthier to me in the light of these same philosophical and religious influences. I would have thought it would be more of a positive and liberating influence in the west as well instead of breeding more repressive and oppressive thinking.

To be entirely honest I would probably have to say that it was about a million hours of increasingly unspeakably great sex that really cured me of the deepest forms of desire for it and not any of the time I spent pretending I wasn't a fundamentally sensual creature, I realize that isn't by the book dhamma but it worked like a charm in my case.
:anjali:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:33 am

Jechbi wrote:So I don't know why you say this about me.


You are not the only one reading this thread. I did not say that about you.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Macavity » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:56 am

nathan wrote:It must be interesting to be like those who've found both their sexual experience and their relationships to be sufficiently monotone that it could be conceivable to make rationally moral and ethical pronouncements about sensuality and responsibility that make sense in the context of awareness of the truth about the nature of being beyond remaining constant in an awareness that one is simply avoiding what are clearly knowable to oneself as obvious forms of abuse of oneself or others.


:?

That's quite a sentence.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:57 am

Jechbi wrote:Hi Tilt,
tiltbillings wrote:And that was in response to your finding "redeeming values" in a list of things such as tea drinking and novel reading, but none in self-pleasuring. The notion started with you.
You're mistaken about this. If you seach the thread for the phrase "redeeming values," you'll find that you made first mention of it.


Sure, but it was to draw out the point of what you said earlier:

I wrote:Don't we self gratify all the time? Drinking a favorite tea while reading our favorite author? Listening to a beautiful piece of music? Company of good friends? The high that come from exercise? Wearing one's favorite shirt? Playing with one's grandkids? Petting one's dog?


in response, you wrote:. Because it seems as if a person who engages in masturbation sets out solely in pursuit of sense pleasure without any other motivating factor. If you play with your grandkids, there's some opportunity there for metta, or karuna. If you're reading a book and drinking some tea, there's the opportunity to educate oneself. If you exercise, there's the opportunity to stay healthy and create a better physical foundation for one's own practice and to help others. If you're having sex with your wife, then you're creating a better marriage relationship. And so on.

But if you're masturbating for self-gratification, I just don't see where there's anything skillful there at all. It just seems like a pursuit in entirely the opposite direction as Dhamma. I don't see how it compares with those other activities you mention. In that respect, I highly doubt that it's possible to masturbate and yet maintain sampajanna.
I think either you'd stop masturbating, or you would no longer have sampajanna. I don't think the same necessarily must be said about having sex with one's wife. . . That's the thing I'm not so sure about. Because it seems as if a person who engages in masturbation sets out solely in pursuit of sense pleasure without any other motivating factor.


I wrote:And you make my point. Interestingly, you left out listening to music in your response to the list of things, but is sense pleasure all that bad that we cannot abide in it once in a while? No bowl of popcorn, no video games, no looking at sunsets, no movies, no anything that has no redeeming value.


While you did not use the words ”redeeming value” first, the highlighted above points to the fact you used the concept first to distinguish some activities from others.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 5:59 am

Macavity wrote:
nathan wrote:It must be interesting to be like those who've found both their sexual experience and their relationships to be sufficiently monotone that it could be conceivable to make rationally moral and ethical pronouncements about sensuality and responsibility that make sense in the context of awareness of the truth about the nature of being beyond remaining constant in an awareness that one is simply avoiding what are clearly knowable to oneself as obvious forms of abuse of oneself or others.


:?

That's quite a sentence.


Yes it is, but what does it mean?
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Macavity » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:03 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Macavity wrote:
nathan wrote:It must be interesting to be like those who've found both their sexual experience and their relationships to be sufficiently monotone that it could be conceivable to make rationally moral and ethical pronouncements about sensuality and responsibility that make sense in the context of awareness of the truth about the nature of being beyond remaining constant in an awareness that one is simply avoiding what are clearly knowable to oneself as obvious forms of abuse of oneself or others.


:?

That's quite a sentence.


Yes it is, but what does it mean?


I don't know. One would need to be a German to decipher a sentence with so many unpunctuated sub-clauses.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:07 am

Macavity wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Yes it, but what does it mean?


I don't know. One would need to be a German to decipher a sentence with so many unpunctuated sub-clauses.


Maybe the Individual has been studying too hard, though I think there is something in that sentence that might be teased out, but I must go to bed. I have electral wiring to do when I get up and I don't want it to end up like that sentence.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby nathan » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:11 am

Macavity wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:
Macavity wrote:
:?

That's quite a sentence.


Yes it, but what does it mean?


I don't know. One would need to be a German to decipher a sentence with so many unpunctuated sub-clauses.


I'll see if I can get one of my German friends to write a translation for you guys.
:tongue:
But whoever walking, standing, sitting, or lying down overcomes thought, delighting in the stilling of thought: he's capable, a monk like this, of touching superlative self-awakening. § 110. {Iti 4.11; Iti 115}
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:15 am

tiltbillings wrote:While you did not use the words ”redeeming value” first, the highlighted above points to the fact you used the concept first to distinguish some activities from others.
2 points:

1) You wrote earlier: "If one is genuinely mindful, one is not going to beat up another." So you also distinguish some activities from others. We all do that. You're the one who applied the phrase "redeeming values" as a label for those distinctions. But regardless, there are in fact distinctions between activities. Why deny it? Murdering someone, beating someone up, raping someone are one extreme. From there to lovingkindness are countless gradations. The question is, where would masturbation fall along that continuum? I cannot imagine that you're trying to say all activities are the same in this respect. And I cannot understand why you think masturbation is really no different from enjoying a book or passing the time with a cup of tea.

2) If it is not true that a person who engages in masturbation sets out solely in pursuit of sense pleasure without any other motivating factor (bearing in mind the context of masturbation as it generally has been discussed in this thread, not as a medical procedure), then I have a question: What other motivating factor inspires the practice of masturbation besides the pursuit of sense pleasure?

Perhaps you could make a list of other motivating factors besides the pursuit of sense pleasure that might inspire masturbation in the sense it's generally been discussed in this thread.

This has become a bizarre discussion. Good luck with the wiring.
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Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby Jechbi » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:27 am

Well, here's the sentence that caught my attention:
nathan wrote:To be entirely honest I would probably have to say that it was about a million hours of increasingly unspeakably great sex that really cured me of the deepest forms of desire for it and not any of the time I spent pretending I wasn't a fundamentally sensual creature, I realize that isn't by the book dhamma but it worked like a charm in my case.

Worked like a charm to what end? Satiation? Or did the poor thing finally fall off?

btw, nobody is suggesting "pretending" is the answer ...
Rain soddens what is kept wrapped up,
But never soddens what is open;
Uncover, then, what is concealed,
Lest it be soddened by the rain.
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Jechbi
 
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:33 am

Jechbi wrote:.

This has become a bizarre discussion. Good luck with the wiring.


Yes it is strange, but some here took it far too seriously, reading far too much into what was written rather than taking it as it was written, but that is my opinion of what I wrote and my intention. Life is far too short to try untangle the what you have presented. What I wrote is a bit simpler than all that in your two points. The last word is yours.

Like self-pleasuring, wiring is fairly simple, but potentially shocking. Thanks.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: masturbation what's wrong?

Postby cooran » Sat Aug 15, 2009 6:48 am

Hello Jechbi, Tilt, all,

The Buddha assumed that in any community there were people who were looked up to, respected, and whose words were taken seriously and an attempt was made to live up to them.
He called these people the Viññū (The Wise).

Regarding The Viññū (The Wise), Thanissaro Bhikkhu says:
...."Traditions are not to be followed simply because they are traditions. Reports (such as historical accounts or news) are not to be followed simply because the source seems reliable.
One's own preferences are not to be followed simply because they seem logical or resonate with one's feelings.

Instead, any view or belief must be tested by the results it yields when put into practice; and — to guard against the possibility of any bias or limitations in one's understanding of those results — they must further be checked against the experience of people who are wise.
The ability to question and test one's beliefs in an appropriate way is called appropriate attention.
The ability to recognize and choose wise people as mentors is called having admirable friends. According to Iti 16-17, these are, respectively, the most important internal and external factors for attaining the goal of the practice."

Drinking a favorite tea while reading our favorite author, listening to a beautiful piece of music, the company of good friends, exerise, wearing one's favorite shirt, playing with one's grandkids, petting one's dog, abowl of popcorn, video games, looking at sunsets, movies, are not seen by the Viññū (The Wise) as unwholesome actions to be avoided. But within our societies, past or present, I don't know of any culture or religion where the Viññū (The Wise) state that masturbation is a good and wholesome thing to be practised, pursued or encouraged.

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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