Hi, SDC (Vepacitta, PeterB), -SDC wrote:In varying degrees most people have characteristics that would be considered unwholesome according to the dhamma. If they have one unwholesome characteristic are they an unwholesome person, and vise versa? Once again as I said earlier, people have a wide variety of characteristics and tendencies, not all which are going to be just good or just bad. To develop compassion and wisdom for others we need not judge them as a whole, because as I just said there is no "whole" because there is no "self".
Also because people change. They can grow to display much more wholesome qualities or become degraded and display more unwholesome qualities. So each encounter we must be patient and see the situation for how it is and accept that our current impression of someone may change with this very encounter.
Please don't let semantics become a hindrance to a good discussion between us. Let's agree to stay with the conventional language throughout this discussion. [No smoke screen, please.]
I agree that, in conventional terms, we say he is unwholesome simply because his behavior (characteristic) is not meritorious. Also, I agree that we should not let a person's unwholesome behavior (in the past or present) obstruct our good-will and compassion towards him. This is the same as being able to see dhamma the way it really is with letting go such that aversion will not have a chance to enter the mind.