Stoicism and Buddhism

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
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dhammacoustic
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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by dhammacoustic » Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:37 am

clw_uk wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, according to the doctrine of kamma, A also causes B which causes C and so forth. Kamma is part of paṭiccasamuppāda. And the mind either has momentum and is part of kamma (the law of cause and effect that covers any substratum of existence), or it's set free through awakening.
So you adhere to the wrong view of the Ajivakas which the Buddha said was the worst of all the wrong views (even hedonistic materialism came off better). He did state that it would have been better for the world if Makkhali Gosala had not been born at all.

Kamma doesn't = determinism. Kamma only occurs when there is clinging which gives rise to a "me" that intends. The result of kamma only ripens when there is a "self" to experience it.

When craving/clinging stops then there is no more birth of "I" and so no more intentional action (Kamma) and no result of intentional action (Kamma vipaka). This is D.O. and it's cessation.

To put it another way, the path of Buddha leads to the stoping of jati (birth) of self, and so kamma (intentional action) and it's result stops.

That's completely different from deterministic Ajivaka karma which you seem to support.
I can assure you that I'm trying to get rid of all my wrong views.

But I don't disagree with anything you said here. About the mind having momentum, I meant egoic mental/physical action and inaction also, which originate out of clinging, which brings about suffering. And awakening; realizing that nothing conditional-is-self. Hence wu wei :)

But I happen to have this idea that; awakening also depends on kamma, and not everyone has the capacity at any given time (it's what I observe as well). There must be some sort of a kammic barrier.

:namaste:
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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clw_uk
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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by clw_uk » Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:46 am

I can assure you that I'm trying to get rid of all my wrong views.
I wouldn't say it's about getting rid of wrong views, which is Vibhava-tanha (not wanting wrong views), but instead seeing wrong views as anicca, dukkha anatta.

" The extent to which there are viewpoints, view-stances, the taking up of views, obsessions of views, the cause of views, & the uprooting of views: that's what I know. That's what I see. Knowing that, I say 'I know.' Seeing that, I say 'I see.' Why should I say 'I don't know, I don't see'? I do know. I do see."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html

But I happen to have this idea that; awakening also depends on kamma
No no, the great path is beyond kamma

"§ 30. "And what is kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither dark nor bright result, leading to the ending of kamma? Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration."

— AN 4.237"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... #diversity


"The Buddha taught us to give up evil and to cultivate the good, then to abandon good and evil all together"

"The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. Why not give it a try? Do you dare?"

Ajahn Chah


In essence use good intentional action to get beyond intentional action, this is the raft.
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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dhammacoustic
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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by dhammacoustic » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:15 am

clw_uk wrote:
I can assure you that I'm trying to get rid of all my wrong views.
I wouldn't say it's about getting rid of wrong views, which is Vibhava-tanha (not wanting wrong views), but instead seeing wrong views as anicca, dukkha anatta.

" The extent to which there are viewpoints, view-stances, the taking up of views, obsessions of views, the cause of views, & the uprooting of views: that's what I know. That's what I see. Knowing that, I say 'I know.' Seeing that, I say 'I see.' Why should I say 'I don't know, I don't see'? I do know. I do see."

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka ... .than.html
:goodpost:
No no, the great path is beyond kamma

"§ 30. "And what is kamma that is neither dark nor bright with neither dark nor bright result, leading to the ending of kamma? Right view, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration."

— AN 4.237"

http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/stud ... #diversity


"The Buddha taught us to give up evil and to cultivate the good, then to abandon good and evil all together"

"The heart of the path is SO simple. No need for long explanations. Give up clinging to love and hate, just rest with things as they are. That is all I do in my own practice.

Do not try to become anything. Do not make yourself into anything. Do not be a meditator. Do not become enlightened. When you sit, let it be. When you walk, let it be. Grasp at nothing. Resist nothing.

Of course, there are dozens of meditation techniques to develop samadhi and many kinds of vipassana. But it all comes back to this-just let it all be. Step over here where it is cool, out of the battle. Why not give it a try? Do you dare?"

Ajahn Chah


In essence use good intentional action to get beyond intentional action, this is the raft.
So anybody is capable of practicing the N8P? At any given time? Honestly, I've met people in my life who call night as day, and vice versa. Some people just aren't capable of understanding.

I pretty much meant;
abhabbàgamana: ‘incapable of progressing’. “Those beings who are obstructed by their evil actions (kamma, s. karma), by their defilements (kilesa, q.v.), by the result of their evil actions (s. vipàka), or who are devoid of faith, energy and knowledge, and unable to enter the right path and reach perfection in wholesome things, all those are said to be incapable of progressing” (Pug. 13). According to Commentary the ‘evil actions’ denote the 5 heinous deeds with immediate result (ànantarika-kamma, q.v.), whilst the ‘defilements’ refer to the ‘evil views with fixed destiny’ (niyata-micchàdiññhi;s. diññhi).
Uppādā vā tathagātanaṃ anuppādā vā tathagātanaṃ, ṭhitāva sā dhātu dhammaṭṭhitatā dhammaniyāmatā idappaccayatā. Taṃ tathagāto abhisam­buj­jhati abhisameti. Abhisam­bujjhitvā abhisametvā ācikkhati deseti paññāpeti paṭṭhapeti vivarati vibhajati uttānīkaroti. ‘Passathā’ti cāha; ‘avijjāpaccayā, bhikkhave, saṅkhārā’. Iti kho, bhikkhave, yā tatra tathatā avitathatā anaññathatā idappaccayatā-ayaṃ vuccati, bhikkhave, paṭiccasamup­pādo.
:heart: namō tassa bhagavatō, arahatō, sammā sambuddhassā

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clw_uk
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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by clw_uk » Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:23 am

So anybody is capable of practicing the N8P? At any given time? Honestly, I've met people in my life who call night as day, and vice versa. Some people just aren't capable of understanding.
No of course not as some people cannot even grasp the basics of Dhamma. As I said firstly one comprehends kamma and then cultivates the wholesome and tries to abandon the unwholesome, however the higher teaching is beyond kamma be it black, white or grey :smile:

Nibbana is beyond good, evil and grey morality (since these states are bound up with self/dukkha).
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken

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Jetavan
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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by Jetavan » Mon Jun 05, 2017 12:24 am

Another interesting (and practical) Stoic text is:

Irvine, W. B. (2009). A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy. Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.

He also describes his comparison of Stoicism with Zen Buddhism, and why he chose the former.

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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by alicec19 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 7:51 am

clw_uk wrote:
Wed Dec 24, 2014 11:29 pm
It seems that all three have the same end but approach it from different angles.

The stoic uses reasoning to tamper emotional responses, however this is a past the post response.

The Pyrrhoinic sceptic weighs up both sides of an argument/perception and decides that since he can't know what is true he should then suspend judgement (and so then experience calm)


A follower of Buddha rests in clear mindfulness and awareness and so doesn't react to dhammas in the first place (after seeing their nature).


Personally I have tried all three philosophies and I have found scepticism to be the most ineffective in daily life mutuelles TNS, although useful for debates.


Stoicism was easier but I found that since it was past the post it only tampered dukkha

Dhamma I found to be best in not experiencing dukkha in the first place. That being said I still find some use from the other two schools.
The question of religion is rather complicated, especially when it comes to a known religion. We all have our own conviction and understanding of a given religion.

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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by binocular » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:13 pm

Dhammanando wrote:
Thu Dec 25, 2014 2:51 pm
clw_uk wrote:However doesn't stoicism achieve apatheia through the wrong view of materialism and determinism, the stoics being proponents of both?
Yes, that for me is what makes them so intriguing. They start out from the most appallingly rotten premises (theism AND materialism AND fatalism — one can scarcely imagine a worse combination of wrong views!), yet in spite of this they get it exactly right about eudaemonia (i.e. there is nothing in the Gotamī Sutta that a Stoic would deem an unworthy aim) and almost exactly right about the nature of the sage (the Stoic sage differs from the Buddhist arahant only in that the former is expected to busy himself with public affairs, while the latter is expected to be a bhikkhu, and thus more like the uninvolved sage pictured by the Stoics' great rival, Epicurus).
I don't find them all that intriguing. I think that stoicism is the stance arrived at by people whose health and wealth are still relatively good and intact. It's the mentality of the upper middle class, as long as birth, aging, illness, and death mostly stay at a polite distance. It's a mentality the requirement for which is material wellbeing.
Hence poor or chronically ill people do not seem to favor stoicism, even if at first glance they seem to be the best population for it and one who might need it the most.
But the fact that the Stoics sought apatheia on the basis of radically wrong views may also go some way to explaining why (on the Stoic writers’ own admission) none of their number actually achieved it — that is, nobody is regarded as having graduated from a prokopton to a proficiens, not even such worthies as Heraclitus and Socrates whom the Stoics held as their patriarchs. In effect, therefore, Stoic sagehood appears to be a merely theoretical ideal.
That's because birth, aging, illness, and death have a thing for bursting people's bubbles.

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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by retrofuturist » Fri Oct 13, 2017 12:33 am

Greetings,
binocular wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:13 pm
Hence poor or chronically ill people do not seem to favor stoicism, even if at first glance they seem to be the best population for it and one who might need it the most.
Without going back in time it is hard to validate this theory, but I strongly suspect that, through sheer necessity, the "poor or chronically ill" were far more stoic in the past than they are today. I also suspect this stoicism had more beneficial consequences in relation to their mind-state than other approaches.

Metta,
Paul. :)
"Do not force others, including children, by any means whatsoever, to adopt your views, whether by authority, threat, money, propaganda, or even education." - Ven. Thich Nhat Hanh

"The uprooting of identity is seen by the noble ones as pleasurable; but this contradicts what the whole world sees." (Snp 3.12)

"One discerns wrong view as wrong view, and right view as right view. This is one's right view." (MN 117)

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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:15 am

waryoffolly wrote:
Wed Dec 24, 2014 4:32 pm
Has anyone checked out stoic philosphy?
It's quite astounding to me how many similarities there are with buddhism.
Supposedly the skeptic Pyrhho studied in India and brought some philosophy back with him. -Perhaps he is the link between the two?

Here is a very, very abridged intro to stoicism:
http://hackthesystem.com/blog/stoicism- ... hilosophy/

Please read at least the two "steps" in the article before responding.
Greek Buddha, Pyrrho’s Encounter with Early Buddhism in Central Asia, by Christopher I. Beckwith is a book which deals with this topic. Pyrrho's system was as close to the Buddhist tetralemma as anything I've come across. Interesting reading.

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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by samseva » Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:12 am

binocular wrote:
Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:13 pm
I don't find them all that intriguing. I think that stoicism is the stance arrived at by people whose health and wealth are still relatively good and intact. It's the mentality of the upper middle class, as long as birth, aging, illness, and death mostly stay at a polite distance. It's a mentality the requirement for which is material wellbeing.
Hence poor or chronically ill people do not seem to favor stoicism, even if at first glance they seem to be the best population for it and one who might need it the most.
You should read a small portion of the biography of Epictetus—one of the most important figures of Stoicism in history.

He was born a slave (freed at the age of around 67) and his leg was permentantly damaged because his master beat him, which left him crippled. ;)

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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:35 am

samseva wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:12 am
He was born a slave (freed at the age of around 67) and his leg was permentantly damaged because his master beat him, which left him crippled. ;)
I remember Christmas Humphreys, the British Buddhist popularizer, would often tell the story of Epictetus's equanimity when his sadistic master was torturing him by squeezing his leg in a vice.

"If you tighten the vice any more, my leg will break," said Epictetus.

The master gleefully went on tightening it. There was a sharp crack.

"There," said Epictetus, "I told you that my leg would break."

:candle:

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Sam Vara
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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:19 am

Dhammanando wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:35 am
"There," said Epictetus, "I told you that my leg would break."

:candle:
Do I detect just a hint of self-righteous satisfaction in that statement? "I told you so!"

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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by binocular » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:36 am

samseva wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 8:12 am
You should read a small portion of the biography of Epictetus—one of the most important figures of Stoicism in history.

He was born a slave (freed at the age of around 67) and his leg was permentantly damaged because his master beat him, which left him crippled. ;)
I talked about the "mentality of the upper middle class"; this mentality isn't limited to the upper middle class, but can also be found in people in the lower class, but who aspire to become the upper middle class or who otherwise hold that the mentality of the upper middle class is the best one.

There is nowadays a revival of stoicism, and from what I've seen, the people who are interested in stoicism today (and who write books about it or advocate for it) are people with the mentality of the upper middle class, even though many of them don't actually belong to it.

Bottomline: I think that stoicism requires a kind of idealism about life, and this idealism is more likely to be found in the upper middle class, and in people who aspire to it. I think one has to experience a measure of material wellbeing (or at least imagine such wellbeing and aspire to it) in order to then be able to confidently, peacefully think that one will be able to face all problems calmly.

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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by Dhammanando » Fri Oct 13, 2017 2:36 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:19 am
Dhammanando wrote:
Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:35 am
"There," said Epictetus, "I told you that my leg would break."

:candle:
Do I detect just a hint of self-righteous satisfaction in that statement? "I told you so!"
I think his words are simply those of a thoroughly convinced (and logically consistent) theist and fatalist, saying in brief what he says at greater length in his Encheiridion and Discourses. Especially the latter, in which Epictetus seems to talk about his legs quite frequently:
* * * * * * * * *

What is by nature free, cannot be disturbed or restrained by anything but itself. But its own principles disturb it. Thus, when the tyrant says to anyone “I will chain your leg,” he who values his leg, cries out for pity, while he who sets the value on his own will and choice, says: “If you suppose it will do you any good, then chain it.”
“What! Don’t you even care?”
“No, I don’t care.”
“I will show you that I am master!”
“You? How should you? Zeus has set me free. Pray, do you think He would suffer His own son to be enslaved? You are master of my carcass only. Take it if you will.”

* * * * * * * * *

Seek not that the things which happen should happen as you wish; but wish the things which happen to happen exactly as they do, and you will have a tranquil flow of life.

Disease is an impediment to the body, but not to the will, unless the will itself chooses. Lameness is an impediment to the leg, but not to the will. And add this reflection on the occasion of everything that happens; for you will find it an impediment to something else, but not to yourself.

* * * * * * * * *

What then should a man have in readiness in such circumstances? What else than “What is mine, and what is not mine; and what is permitted to me, and what is not permitted to me.”

I must die. Must I then die lamenting? I must be put in chains. Must I then also lament? I must go into exile. Does any man then hinder me from going with smiles and cheerfulness and contentment?

“Tell me the secret which you possess.”
“I will not, for this is in my power.”
“But I will put you in chains.”
“Man, what are you talking about? Me in chains? You may fetter my leg, but my will not even Zeus himself can overpower.”
“I will throw you into prison.”
“My poor body, you mean.”
“I will cut your head off.”
“And when did I ever boast that my head alone cannot be cut off?”

These are the things which philosophers should meditate on, which they should write daily, in which they should exercise themselves.

* * * * * * * * *

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Javi
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Re: Stoicism and Buddhism

Post by Javi » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:14 pm

Were they materialists really? I thought they were more like panpsychists. The logos is supposed to be also intelligent and rational as well as a fiery aether like stuff.


Anyways, I've always preferred the Cynics, they seem more like serious ascetics
Vayadhammā saṅkhārā appamādena sampādethā — All things decay and disappoint, it is through vigilance that you succeed — Mahāparinibbāna Sutta

Self-taught poverty is a help toward philosophy, for the things which philosophy attempts to teach by reasoning, poverty forces us to practice. — Diogenes of Sinope

I have seen all things that are done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a chase after wind — Ecclesiastes 1.14

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