Honor and Shame

A discussion on all aspects of Theravāda Buddhism
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kevin52193
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Honor and Shame

Post by kevin52193 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:49 pm

Hello again all,

I've learned much from my last posting here, although, i really should get to responding to my own posts more :jumping:.

Anyway, i've had a bit of a dilemma as of late, i've been stifling feelings of self-worth, thinking that from it, arises an overall feeling of conceit. It kind of feels like there's a sense of "I" to it, as though it's I who has done something worth it of feeling honor towards, or in its opposite sense, it's i who has done something worth feeling a sense of shame over. And so, for the sake of the teaching, i've told myself that i can't or that i shouldn't really be feeling those feelings, because there seems to be an overall feeling of opinion over yourself, an indicator of some sort, that stems from, possibly, holding on to the notion of that whole better than, equal to, or less than scenario that i'm trying to avoid.

But then of course, i've been looking into Thanissaro Bhikkhu's essays, his writings and/or talks on honor and shame, and it just suddenly blew my mind out of the water, that these things are in fact ok, and part of being a good, virtuous human being is to have a healthy sense of these qualities.

How do we reconcile with this? How can we learn to abandon this self-view of ours if we're still doing and holding on to things that reinforce this notion?

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DNS
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Re: Honor and Conceit

Post by DNS » Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:58 pm

Yes, it's a dilemma because without some sense of self, even a perceived self, one cannot make or attain a goal. Ananda explains it as the desire and the conceit along the path, to eventually allow us to abandon the desire and the conceit; but first it must be there to get us to the other shore.

https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/AN_4.1 ... huni_Sutta
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/SN_51. ... mana_Sutta

kevin52193
Posts: 15
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2018 8:21 pm

Re: Honor and Conceit

Post by kevin52193 » Fri Feb 08, 2019 10:19 pm

DNS wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:58 pm
Yes, it's a dilemma because without some sense of self, even a perceived self, one cannot make or attain a goal. Ananda explains it as the desire and the conceit along the path, to eventually allow us to abandon the desire and the conceit; but first it must be there to get us to the other shore.

https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/AN_4.1 ... huni_Sutta
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/SN_51. ... mana_Sutta
Thank you! This alleviates my concern.

paul
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Re: Honor and Conceit

Post by paul » Fri Feb 08, 2019 11:00 pm

:goodpost:
DNS wrote:
Fri Feb 08, 2019 8:58 pm
Yes, it's a dilemma because without some sense of self, even a perceived self, one cannot make or attain a goal. Ananda explains it as the desire and the conceit along the path, to eventually allow us to abandon the desire and the conceit; but first it must be there to get us to the other shore.

https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/AN_4.1 ... huni_Sutta
https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/SN_51. ... mana_Sutta
The path is conditioned (subject to cycles of impermanence), while the goal is unconditioned. The practitioner must use conditioned phenomena skilfully right up to the last stage of the path. This explains why conceit is the third last fetter to be severed, it is necessary, as is a certain amount of restlessness (energy) of mind.

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Circle5
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Re: Honor and Shame

Post by Circle5 » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:59 am

Check this out:
"If that's so, Master Ananda, then it's an endless path, and not one with an end, for it's impossible that one could abandon desire by means of desire."
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitak ... .than.html

In order to be successful on the buddhist path, you need to use the same methods that lead to success in any activity. A certain degree of wisdom about the "pathways of the mind" is needed in order to be successful in any activity. There are ways of thinking that motivate, ways of thinking that help, and there are ways of thinking that do the opposite.

Your question seems more related to the narcissistic aspects of motivation. Buddha encouraged this kind of thing in many suttas. He encouraged disciples to compare themselves with others, like those that have reached the goal of arahantship. After the opinion that a self exists in removed through seeing with wisdom, those narcissistic traits will still remain there. They can be used for the benefits that they do have. Knowing that there is no self doesn't mean there is no more attachment towards money, no more pleasure to take out of comparing yourself to others, no more pleasure to take out of building ideas about the future, etc. You're supposed to use these desires to your advantage, you're supposed to "build a boat" out of them. You're not supposed to throw everything out alltogether and then expect the shore to come to your.

And the way towards becoming successful in any activity will still be the same. You won't make it on such a difficult journey by refusing to use the methods and wisdom about the mind that even a 5th league football coach has.

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