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Epictectus was a paecca Buddha

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:42 pm
by budo
I've been studying stoicism longer than I have been practicing Buddhism, tell me this isn't the dhamma:

Sickness, death, aging and cannot control sensual desire
"2. Remember that following desire promises the attainment of that of which you are desirous; and aversion promises the avoiding that to which you are averse. However, he who fails to obtain the object of his desire is disappointed, and he who incurs the object of his aversion wretched. If, then, you confine your aversion to those objects only which are contrary to the natural use of your faculties, which you have in your own control, you will never incur anything to which you are averse. But if you are averse to sickness, or death, or poverty, you will be wretched. Remove aversion, then, from all things that are not in our control, and transfer it to things contrary to the nature of what is in our control. But, for the present, totally suppress desire: for, if you desire any of the things which are not in your own control, you must necessarily be disappointed; and of those which are, and which it would be laudable to desire, nothing is yet in your possession. Use only the appropriate actions of pursuit and avoidance; and even these lightly, and with gentleness and reservation. "
Mental noting /satipathana and awareness of the hinderances
. When you are going about any action, remind yourself what nature the action is. If you are going to bathe, picture to yourself the things which usually happen in the bath: some people splash the water, some push, some use abusive language, and others steal. Thus you will more safely go about this action if you say to yourself, "I will now go bathe, and keep my own mind in a state conformable to nature." And in the same manner with regard to every other action. For thus, if any hindrance arises in bathing, you will have it ready to say, "It was not only to bathe that I desired, but to keep my mind in a state conformable to nature; and I will not keep it if I am bothered at things that happen.

"3. With regard to whatever objects give you delight, are useful, or are deeply loved, remember to tell yourself of what general nature they are, beginning from the most insignificant things. If, for example, you are fond of a specific ceramic cup, remind yourself that it is only ceramic cups in general of which you are fond. Then, if it breaks, you will not be disturbed. If you kiss your child, or your wife, say that you only kiss things which are human, and thus you will not be disturbed if either of them dies. "
Dying with a calm state of mind, prioritizing state of mind
12. If you want to improve, reject such reasonings as these: "If I neglect my affairs, I'll have no income; if I don't correct my servant, he will be bad." For it is better to die with hunger, exempt from grief and fear, than to live in affluence with perturbation; and it is better your servant should be bad, than you unhappy.
Rejecting cravings and sensual desires
Remember that you must behave in life as at a dinner party. Is anything brought around to you? Put out your hand and take your share with moderation. Does it pass by you? Don't stop it. Is it not yet come? Don't stretch your desire towards it, but wait till it reaches you. Do this with regard to children, to a wife, to public posts, to riches, and you will eventually be a worthy partner of the feasts of the gods. And if you don't even take the things which are set before you, but are able even to reject them, then you will not only be a partner at the feasts of the gods, but also of their empire. For, by doing this, Diogenes, Heraclitus and others like them, deservedly became, and were called, divine.
No-self and the hinderances:
"The things in our control are by nature free, unrestrained, unhindered; but those not in our control are weak, slavish, restrained, belonging to others. Remember, then, that if you suppose that things which are slavish by nature are also free, and that what belongs to others is your own, then you will be hindered. You will lament, you will be disturbed, and you will find fault both with gods and men. But if you suppose that only to be your own which is your own, and what belongs to others such as it really is, then no one will ever compel you or restrain you. Further, you will find fault with no one or accuse no one. You will do nothing against your will. No one will hurt you, you will have no enemies, and you not be harmed. "
Perception is the issue and the hinderances, and the same line as the dhammapada that we make the world with our thoughts:
5. Men are disturbed, not by things, but by the principles and notions which they form concerning things. Death, for instance, is not terrible, else it would have appeared so to Socrates. But the terror consists in our notion of death that it is terrible. When therefore we are hindered, or disturbed, or grieved, let us never attribute it to others, but to ourselves; that is, to our own principles. An uninstructed person will lay the fault of his own bad condition upon others. Someone just starting instruction will lay the fault on himself. Some who is perfectly instructed will place blame neither on others nor on himself.
Disturbed = Dukkha

Re: Epictectus was a paecca Buddha

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:02 pm
by dharmacorps
If he was a silent Buddha, then he wouldn't have written or taught, right?

Re: Epictectus was a paecca Buddha

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:10 pm
by budo
dharmacorps wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:02 pm
If he was a silent Buddha, then he wouldn't have written or taught, right?
Not necessarily, from what I heard and understand they still teach to small groups/followings, they just don't cause a huge movement that spreads to a whole continent and around the world. Epictectus was nowhere near as popular as the Buddha, just look at how many people make statues of the Buddha, but how many statues of Epictectus can you find at your local gardening store?

Re: Epictectus was a paecca Buddha

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:36 pm
by Polar Bear
Epictetus was awesome but I don’t think it’s helpful to claim him as a pacceka Buddha. My understanding is that it is considered impossible for pacceka Buddhas to exist when there is the teaching of a Sammasambuddha in the world.

But yes, an accomplished Stoic, and even an accomplished Epicurean, will have achieved more renunciation-wise than most Buddhists ever do.


Re: Epictectus was a paecca Buddha

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:32 am
by salayatananirodha
Polar Bear wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:36 pm
My understanding is that it is considered impossible for pacceka Buddhas to exist when there is the teaching of a Sammasambuddha in the world.
I've also heard this but I do not recall if and where it occurs in the suttas.

Re: Epictectus was a paecca Buddha

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 6:55 am
by budo
Some more Epictectus dhamma

No self
That alone is in our power, which is our own work; and in this class are our opinions, impulses, desires, and aversions. What, on the contrary, is not in our power, are our bodies, possessions, glory, and power. Any delusion on this point leads to the greatest errors, misfortunes, and troubles, and to the slavery of the soul
We have no power over external things, and the good that ought to be the object of our earnest pursuit, is to be found only within ourselves.
More no self
Practise then from the start to say to every harsh impression, "You are an impression, and not at all the thing you appear to be." Then examine it and test it by these rules you have, and firstly, and chiefly, by this: whether the impression has to do with the things that are up to us, or those that are not; and if it has to do with the things that are not up to us, be ready to reply, "It is nothing to me."
Perception and no-self
We will not be troubled at any loss, but will say to ourselves on such an occasion: "I have lost nothing that belongs to me; it was not something of mine that was torn from me, but something that was not in my power has left me." Nothing beyond the use of our opinion is properly ours. Every possession rests on opinion. What is to cry and to weep? An opinion. What is misfortune, or a quarrel, or a complaint? All these things are opinions; opinions founded on the delusion that what is not subject to our own choice can be either good or evil, which it cannot.[33] By rejecting these opinions, and seeking good and evil in the power of choice alone, we may confidently achieve peace of mind in every condition of life.[39]
The state of mind is more important than physical form
Anytus and Meletus may indeed kill me, but they cannot harm me.