The personality is sin.

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
Sleep_Fan
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Re: The personality is sin.

Post by Sleep_Fan » Fri Apr 04, 2014 2:27 am

Dan74 wrote: This is all good, but the real work starts here. Personality and its habits are deeper ingrained than we often think. Many people have seen past it only to fall back into the thrall of all the past clinging stronger than before. The ego is a subtle thing and very good at converting every breakthrough into another feather in its cap.
I like that. What spiritual practice do you focus on? Just regular meditation?

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Dan74
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Re: The personality is sin.

Post by Dan74 » Fri Apr 04, 2014 5:08 am

Sleep_Fan wrote:
Dan74 wrote: This is all good, but the real work starts here. Personality and its habits are deeper ingrained than we often think. Many people have seen past it only to fall back into the thrall of all the past clinging stronger than before. The ego is a subtle thing and very good at converting every breakthrough into another feather in its cap.
I like that. What spiritual practice do you focus on? Just regular meditation?
Life, and paying careful attention to it, is my primary practice. Meditation, study, chanting, interviews with a teacher and all other formal practice are good too. At the end of the day it is all about intention and attention, I feel.
_/|\_

binocular
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Re: The personality is sin.

Post by binocular » Fri Apr 04, 2014 9:28 am

Sleep_Fan wrote:
binocular wrote:
Sleep_Fan wrote:That is why I say the personality is sin, because the natural state is to be without the desires of the ego.
If our natural state is to be without the desires of the ego - then how have we come into this current unnatural state where we do have desires of the ego?
And that is the question to be asking! Why is it that nature is a blood bath where one creature hunts and feeds on another according to their nature and programming? Did the devil create the ego and the world like the Gnostics believed? Is the devil the ego? When the veil of maya, which is the ego, is lifted, everything stops being okay and we see death and how everyone is dying slowly, and suffering, and a deep compassion and sadness overtake you. How can nature be holy, when true perception contradicts its holiness and see's that it is in fact as unholy? Why does time exist? Look at time closely, and you will see that it's philosophy is, "Even if it's not broken, fix it anyway by replacing it with something new." You may love and value everyone like the Buddha, but time does not love them -time only slowly destroys them. Time and life are going into the future, making sure all species procreate for the sake of keeping the sorrow going. It is bereft of spiritual purpose though it does teach lessons, though perhaps not on purpsoe. Life is death and It is the anti-salvation, being born out of the egoic mind who's only purpose is survival for eternity, for no reason. That is why in the Gnostic Jesus said, "He who has known the world has found a corpse; and he who has found a corpse, the world is not worthy of him."

Meanwhile, deluded by the ego, everything feels like it's okay. And that ego continues apologizing for the world, and even claims that it is good and that God created it. How happy and satisfied the ego is in this abode of death and suffering.
Where does the ego or maya come from?
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

Sleep_Fan
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Re: The personality is sin.

Post by Sleep_Fan » Fri Apr 04, 2014 4:54 pm

binocular wrote: Where does the ego or maya come from?
I don't know, do you?

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Re: The personality is sin.

Post by Sleep_Fan » Sat Apr 05, 2014 2:00 am

Dan74 wrote:
Sleep_Fan wrote:
Dan74 wrote: This is all good, but the real work starts here. Personality and its habits are deeper ingrained than we often think. Many people have seen past it only to fall back into the thrall of all the past clinging stronger than before. The ego is a subtle thing and very good at converting every breakthrough into another feather in its cap.
I like that. What spiritual practice do you focus on? Just regular meditation?
Life, and paying careful attention to it, is my primary practice. Meditation, study, chanting, interviews with a teacher and all other formal practice are good too. At the end of the day it is all about intention and attention, I feel.
Do you believe that life is guiding you to liberation? I used to think so but now I have nothing but doubt about it. I look at the world, and the things I can do in it, and I always ask, "what is the purpose of doing so-and-so thing, or becoming so-and-so, when it is just my ego that wants it?" My spiritual experiences have ruined me.

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Dan74
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Re: The personality is sin.

Post by Dan74 » Sat Apr 05, 2014 6:09 am

Sleep_Fan wrote:
Dan74 wrote:
Sleep_Fan wrote:
I like that. What spiritual practice do you focus on? Just regular meditation?
Life, and paying careful attention to it, is my primary practice. Meditation, study, chanting, interviews with a teacher and all other formal practice are good too. At the end of the day it is all about intention and attention, I feel.
Do you believe that life is guiding you to liberation? I used to think so but now I have nothing but doubt about it. I look at the world, and the things I can do in it, and I always ask, "what is the purpose of doing so-and-so thing, or becoming so-and-so, when it is just my ego that wants it?" My spiritual experiences have ruined me.
I think spiritual experiences, particularly glimpses of emptiness, can be really harmful, if not processed properly. A few years ago I posted a teaching on it herehttp://zenforuminternational.org/viewto ... =64&t=5677 Maybe some of it will resonate.

I guess in each situation in life one can just do the right thing or act out of habit, or distance oneself and try to see it separately as an observer. Doing the right thing means you give 100%, there is no separation or hesitation. In extreme situations many of us are like that - we just do what needs doing. But in less extreme ones, all sorts of weighing, selfishness and doubts kick in. The difference is perhaps that in extreme situations we are 100% present and otherwise we are detached, daydreaming, worrying, obsessing, too busy with our plans, fears and mindgames.

Treat every moment as the only one there is. Because it is. Give fully. It's the First Paramis - Generosity. What higher generosity is there than giving completely of oneself?

There is a Zen story that goes like this:

Student: What are we to do when it is hot? What are we to do when it is cold?
Master: When the cold comes, let the cold kill you. When the heat comes, let the heat kill you.

Passions are heat, doubt is cold. All this can be fodder for the ego, or with the right approach can kill the ego. Give yourself fully, so that there is not even a giver.
_/|\_

binocular
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Re: The personality is sin.

Post by binocular » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:47 am

Sleep_Fan wrote:
binocular wrote: Where does the ego or maya come from?
I don't know, do you?
The problem you present is an old one. The conceptual framework you use is somewhat similar to that of Advaita Vedanta, for example. They, too, can't / won't explain how the Brahman (which is the only real and enlightened) falls into the delusion of many separate egos.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Freelance ExBuddhist
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Re: The personality is sin.

Post by Freelance ExBuddhist » Mon Apr 07, 2014 12:36 pm

This may or may not be helpful to the original poster, but to all assembled, I would note:

Ancient Buddhism DOES NOT have so dim a view of the self and even "selfishness" as modern Buddhists pretend:
"Great king, there is no one dear to me, more than my self. Is there anyone dear to you, more than your self?"
http://a-bas-le-ciel.blogspot.tw/2012/1 ... le-06.html

That link leads to a very short article (it will only take a moment to read).

This shows that ancient Buddhism was, in many ways, more ego-affirming (for laypeople, at least) than modern Buddhists seem to believe. This aspect of the ancient teaching has either been intentionally or unintentionally omitted. When the Buddha teaches people (e.g.) that the component parts of the body are impermanent, lead to suffering, and are "unlovely" in various ways, the point is not to lower your self-esteem; this is part of a comprehensive philosophy and cosmology of what the world is, and the person's (soulless) place within it.

For the most part, Europeans simply reinvent Catholic notions of self-loathing within Buddhism, impose the expectation from one religion to another (in converting from Christianity to Buddhism), and don't question the purpose or philosophical basis for such self-loating in the context of ancient Indian thought. I don't say this in a cruel way at all: I can sympathize with the fact that many people end up re-inventing their expectations from the religion of their childhood in the religion they convert to, in later years.

Sleep_Fan
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Re: The personality is sin.

Post by Sleep_Fan » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:15 am

binocular wrote:
Sleep_Fan wrote:
binocular wrote: Where does the ego or maya come from?
I don't know, do you?
The problem you present is an old one. The conceptual framework you use is somewhat similar to that of Advaita Vedanta, for example. They, too, can't / won't explain how the Brahman (which is the only real and enlightened) falls into the delusion of many separate egos.
I like the way the book Lamp of non-dual knowledge describes it. The guru says that Maya (aka mind), a latent power that Brahman has, acts on its own and creates the world. Another way he put it is that the Self is misrepresented as the world. So in other words, the Self has been "kidnapped" by maya (mind). Or think of it like this: The Self makes creation possible, but the building-blocks have been hijacked by Mind, and mind is doing things for its own purpose while the Self is ignored.

I know this for certain because I have experienced pure Self and it is impossible for it to have created life the way it is. Life is more like death, truly. I will never believe otherwise because what is happeing in life is gross suffering; suffering for the sake of suffering and NOT spiritual progress. If you had a sheltered life, you cannot see the intensity of the suffering. The Self is not orchestrating this, but rather the evil "thing" inside our minds lies to us and tells us how all the suffering is God's will, or that it's correct because nature can do no harm. Look closely at the human race and see how much it suffers, and just as much as it suffers, THEY APOLOGIZE in one form or another that the suffering is good! Humanity complains about the suffering, and keeps it going just as much! This "thing" in our minds makes it so that the Self is naturally in the "background" so that it goes un-noticed and therefore is INCAPABLE of intervening in the world. It wants to keep you identified with the body for eternity.

The Buddha's and Christ's are rare. Once they come, the demons already hijack the truth just like they did by burning down the Gnostic library of Alexandria. They replaced Gnosticism with their own religions, Christianity and Cathalicism to keep the blood flowing for centeries. Evil truly is more powerful than good.

Sleep_Fan
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Re: The personality is sin.

Post by Sleep_Fan » Tue Jul 15, 2014 3:25 am

Freelance ExBuddhist wrote:This may or may not be helpful to the original poster, but to all assembled, I would note:

Ancient Buddhism DOES NOT have so dim a view of the self and even "selfishness" as modern Buddhists pretend:
"Great king, there is no one dear to me, more than my self. Is there anyone dear to you, more than your self?"
http://a-bas-le-ciel.blogspot.tw/2012/1 ... le-06.html

That link leads to a very short article (it will only take a moment to read).

This shows that ancient Buddhism was, in many ways, more ego-affirming (for laypeople, at least) than modern Buddhists seem to believe. This aspect of the ancient teaching has either been intentionally or unintentionally omitted. When the Buddha teaches people (e.g.) that the component parts of the body are impermanent, lead to suffering, and are "unlovely" in various ways, the point is not to lower your self-esteem; this is part of a comprehensive philosophy and cosmology of what the world is, and the person's (soulless) place within it.

For the most part, Europeans simply reinvent Catholic notions of self-loathing within Buddhism, impose the expectation from one religion to another (in converting from Christianity to Buddhism), and don't question the purpose or philosophical basis for such self-loating in the context of ancient Indian thought. I don't say this in a cruel way at all: I can sympathize with the fact that many people end up re-inventing their expectations from the religion of their childhood in the religion they convert to, in later years.
Ego-hatred is a corruption, I now firmly believe. There is this book that was channeled called A Course In Miracles and for 1000 pages it takes you on a hate-trip against the ego. This thing is like a character assasination and results in many people futily hating themselves, because what is the ego but your own personality? Sure it's ultimately evil and manipulating us like a puppet, but by hating it what are we accomplishing?

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