Attachment to non-attachment

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Sam Vara
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Attachment to non-attachment

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:17 am

Maverick Philosopher Bill Vallicella musing about the perils of non-attachment in his latest blog post. It might be of interest to some.
Self-mastery, you say, is the highest mastery. You are attached to this ideal and you live for the most part in accordance with it. But on occasion you stumble and fall. You lose your temper, overeat, or succumb to lust. And then you feel disgust with yourself. The failure hurts your ego. It diminishes your sense of distinction, which is what the ego is. The pain of moral failure reveals attachment to an ideal and a self-image. Is it the ideal you honor or your self-image? The solution is not to abandon the ideal, but to pursue it with detachment from the outcome, the outcome being either your success or your failure in meeting its demand.

Non-attachment is an ideal too. You can identify with it and become attached to it to the detriment of your non-attachment. But if I am not my property, pelf, and productions, nor my body, nor my transient states of mind, how could I be my ideals? They too are external. If I identify with my non-attachment, then am attached to it, and to that extent conflate my self with my ego. 'My' ideals are not me. I don't own them or control them. They are not ex-pressions of any true self I may have. They are not my innermost identity; I acquire an objective identity by identifying with them.

So subtle are the dialectics of the self and the demands of the moral life.
https://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com ... hment.html

SarathW
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by SarathW » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:54 am

Actually this is what exactly the message I am trying to convey in my other post.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=35738

Intelectualisation of no-attachment is another attachment.
This is why you can not realsie Nibbana by intellect.
Last edited by SarathW on Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Alīno
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by Alīno » Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:55 am

I think its important to fail while we training. Because failure of dukkha is the best opportunity to learn. We learn nothing while all is good.

Actualy Buddha Awakened after a failure... He failed in his past beliefs and strivings... He abandoned his practice and loosed all his friends because they saw their teacher's failure and slackness...

There is a song of Linkin Park :"in the end" , and it's said something like :

I've tried so hard, and got so far
But in the end it doesn't even matters
I had to fall, to lose it all
But in the end it doesn't even matters

Ego-based failure is important because it reveals the dukkha of ego, it's impermanent nature and constructed, un-true nature. One endowed with wisdom will see it and as it was said in the song : i had to fall, to lose it all. So sometimes, like Lord Buddha, we need "to fall to lose it all"...

To recognise ego-based construction we should ask if it lead to passion or dispassion, heaviness of freedom, dukkha or end of dukkha...

Ajahn Nanadassano (before ordaining) : Venerable Ajahn, what is the bigest error that buddhist do in their practice?
Ajahn Jayasaro : They stop practicing ...

SteRo
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by SteRo » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:09 pm

That's why self identity 'views' or 'beliefs' have to be deal with from the beginning.

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DooDoot
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by DooDoot » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:38 pm

SteRo wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:09 pm
That's why self identity 'views' or 'beliefs' have to be deal with from the beginning.
What is your view on Dependent Origination and if & where it refers to self identity 'views' or 'beliefs'? Thanks
There is always an official executioner. If you try to take his place, It is like trying to be a master carpenter and cutting wood. If you try to cut wood like a master carpenter, you will only hurt your hand.

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chownah
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by chownah » Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:46 pm

I think that if attachment to non-attachment leads to non-attachment then it is helpful....if it doesn't then it is just another attachment.....I really think it could go either way.....
chownah

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Bundokji
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by Bundokji » Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:02 pm

For whatever reason, this reminded me of "The Ant and the Grasshopper"
Fable and counter-fable

The fable concerns a grasshopper (in the original, a cicada) that has spent the summer singing while the ant (or ants in some versions) worked to store up food for winter. When that season arrives, the grasshopper finds itself dying of hunger and begs the ant for food. However, the ant rebukes its idleness and tells it to dance the winter away now.[3] Versions of the fable are found in the verse collections of Babrius (140) and Avianus (34), and in several prose collections including those attributed to Syntipas and Aphthonius of Antioch. The fable's Greek original cicada is kept in the Latin and Romance translations. A variant fable, separately numbered 112 in the Perry Index,[4] features a dung beetle as the improvident insect which finds that the winter rains wash away the dung on which it feeds.

The fable is found in a large number of mediaeval Latin sources and also figures as a moral ballade among the poems of Eustache Deschamps under the title of La fourmi et le céraseron.[5] From the start it assumes prior knowledge of the fable and presents human examples of provident and improvident behaviour as typified by the insects. As well as appearing in vernacular collections of Aesop's fables in Renaissance times, a number of Neo-Latin poets used it as a subject, including Gabriele Faerno (1563),[6] Hieronymus Osius (1564)[7] and Candidus Pantaleon (1604).[8]

The story has been used to teach the virtues of hard work and the perils of improvidence. Some versions state a moral at the end along the lines of "An idle soul shall suffer hunger",[9] "Work today to eat tomorrow",[10] and "July is follow’d by December".[11] In La Fontaine's Fables no final judgment is made,[12] although it has been argued that the author is there making sly fun of his own notoriously improvident ways.[13] But the point of view in most retellings of the fable is supportive of the ant. It is also influenced by the commendation in the biblical Book of Proverbs, which mentions the ant twice. The first proverb admonishes, "Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, which having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest" (6.6-9). Later, in a parallel saying of Agur, the insects figure among the 'four things that are little upon the earth but they are exceeding wise. The ants are a people not strong, yet they provide their food in the summer.' (30.24-5)

There was, nevertheless, an alternative tradition also ascribed to Aesop in which the ant was seen as a bad example. This appears as a counter-fable and is numbered 166 in the Perry Index.[14] It relates that the ant was once a man who was always busy farming. Not satisfied with the results of his own labour, he plundered his neighbours' crops at night. This angered the king of the gods, who turned him into what is now an ant. Yet even though the man had changed his shape, he did not change his habits and to this day goes around the fields gathering the fruits of other people's labour, storing them up for himself. The moral given the fable in old Greek sources was that it is easier to change in appearance than to change one's moral nature. It has rarely been noticed since Classical times. Among the few prominent collectors of fables who recorded it later were Gabriele Faerno (1564),[15] and Roger L'Estrange (1692).[16] The latter's comment is that the ant's "Vertue and Vice, in many Cases, are hardly Distinguishable but by the Name".
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ant_a ... rasshopper
And the Blessed One addressed the bhikkhus, saying: "Behold now, bhikkhus, I exhort you: All compounded things are subject to vanish. Strive with earnestness!"

This was the last word of the Tathagata.

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Alīno
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by Alīno » Sun Nov 17, 2019 1:22 pm

The question of the OP can be apprehended in other form, with different answer:

- can we be attached to freedom?

What do you think ?
Ajahn Nanadassano (before ordaining) : Venerable Ajahn, what is the bigest error that buddhist do in their practice?
Ajahn Jayasaro : They stop practicing ...

SteRo
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by SteRo » Sun Nov 17, 2019 2:50 pm

DooDoot wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:38 pm
SteRo wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:09 pm
That's why self identity 'views' or 'beliefs' have to be deal with from the beginning.
What is your view on Dependent Origination and if & where it refers to self identity 'views' or 'beliefs'? Thanks
That's off-topic here. Also we had already covered self identity views in this thread exhaustively.

SteRo
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by SteRo » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:03 pm

chownah wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:46 pm
I think that if attachment to non-attachment leads to non-attachment then it is helpful....if it doesn't then it is just another attachment.....I really think it could go either way.....
Exactly. The difference might be experience vs idea/concept: If there is the experience of non-attachment that one doesn't want to lose then one might want to be mindful of attachment setting in again to counter it with appropriate means. That attitude might serve as a basis to completely and irreversibly get rid of attachment finally. If however non-attachment is merely an idea/concept one imputes nice feelings to then one might get attached to that idea/concept without being able to get rid of attachment.

JohnK
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by JohnK » Sun Nov 17, 2019 3:51 pm

If I'm not attached to the path, I float away. :)
(It helps to remember the gravity of the situation.) ;)
Those who grasp at perceptions & views wander the internet creating friction. [based on Sn4:9,v.847]

binocular
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by binocular » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:35 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:17 am
Self-mastery, you say, is the highest mastery. You are attached to this ideal and you live for the most part in accordance with it. But on occasion you stumble and fall. You lose your temper, overeat, or succumb to lust. And then you feel disgust with yourself. The failure hurts your ego. It diminishes your sense of distinction, which is what the ego is. The pain of moral failure reveals attachment to an ideal and a self-image. Is it the ideal you honor or your self-image? The solution is not to abandon the ideal, but to pursue it with detachment from the outcome, the outcome being either your success or your failure in meeting its demand.
/.../
https://maverickphilosopher.typepad.com ... hment.html
Mr. Valicella is a Catholic. So of course he looks down on human effort. For a monotheist, the result of a man's effort is in God's hands, and this determines the monotheist's interpretation of man's intentions and efforts.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Sam Vara
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by Sam Vara » Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:44 pm

binocular wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:35 pm

Mr. Valicella is a Catholic. So of course he looks down on human effort. For a monotheist, the result of a man's effort is in God's hands, and this determines the monotheist's interpretation of man's intentions and efforts.
No, that's not true at all. His Catholicism is far more sophisticated than the parody you provide, and he sets great store by human effort.
My position, bluntly stated, is that we are libertarianly free (L-free). One is L-free just in case (i) one is the agent cause or unsourced source of some of one's actions, and (ii) with respect to an action of which one is the agent cause, one unconditionally could have done otherwise. As far as I'm concerned, the following argument is practically decisive. By 'practically decisive' I mean decisive with respect to one's actual practice in living one's life. An argument can be practically decisive for a person without being, in general, rationally compelling.

1. We are morally responsible for at least some of our actions and omissions.
2. Moral responsibility entails libertarian freedom of the will.
Therefore
3. We are libertarianly free.
I think you might miss the Buddhist angle in this latest subtle post.

binocular
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by binocular » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:07 pm

Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:44 pm
No, that's not true at all. His Catholicism is far more sophisticated than the parody you provide, and he sets great store by human effort.
Well, your tendency to interpret my words in ways that makes them easy to dismiss is as active as usual.
I think you might miss the Buddhist angle in this latest subtle post.
A monotheist cannot have a "Buddhist angle".
Everything a monotheist says is like the fruit of a poisonous tree.

You chide me for not reading Buddhist sources, but here you are, continually looking for Buddhism in non-Buddhist sources.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Sam Vara
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Re: Attachment to non-attachment

Post by Sam Vara » Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:57 pm

binocular wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 5:07 pm
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:44 pm
No, that's not true at all. His Catholicism is far more sophisticated than the parody you provide, and he sets great store by human effort.
Well, your tendency to interpret my words in ways that makes them easy to dismiss is as active as usual.
I think you might miss the Buddhist angle in this latest subtle post.
A monotheist cannot have a "Buddhist angle".
Everything a monotheist says is like the fruit of a poisonous tree.

You chide me for not reading Buddhist sources, but here you are, continually looking for Buddhism in non-Buddhist sources.
I offer the Vallicella article for those who might appreciate it or benefit from it. It pretty much stands as it is, but I'm quite happy to discuss issues arising from it, providing they refer to the substance of the article or are otherwise intelligently referenced. If people use mistaken axioms and lazy generalisations to dismiss it, then apart from pointing out the mistakes and laziness I'm not really interested. The idea that Catholics "look down on human effort" and that "everything a monotheist says is like the fruit of a poisonous tree" do, unfortunately, fall into that category, and could not be held by anyone who had correctly understood what Vallicella is saying.

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