difficult situation

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths - what can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:39 pm

SDC wrote:
dhamma_spoon wrote:Why is the "same person" quite acceptable one time, but unacceptable later on?
Quick answer -

Because there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept. I'll be back in about an hour to elaborate or comment on your retort.
Sorry, SDC. Your quick answer is not acceptable. Please read my whole post first.

Thanks.
A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!

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Vepacitta
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Re: difficult situation

Post by Vepacitta » Wed Aug 11, 2010 7:53 pm

For the sake of general conversation, reference and just plain speech - use of the word "self" is okey dokey. Even the Tathagata himself used self "atta" when refering to himself or others. It's a referent.

As to unwholesome - I dunno that it's so very unskillful to use that word - it's certainly used in translation -- not everyone is/can be/ a Pali scholar.

Some people - ok - some collections of aggregates - which aren't really "people" or "beings" (because zoiks I might get flamed) can - dependent upon the confluence of conditions and tendencies running through the aggregates - and indeed supporting or conditioning those very same aggregates (hey - what about using vortex - that more acceptable than 'person" "self" "being" etc. ?) exhibit unwholesome, unskillful, or - just plain nasty, bad, unkind etc etc behaviour.

Remember Bill Clinton, "It depends upon what the meaning of "is" is? :roll:

More samsara-ing - more fabrications.

From the slopes of Mt. Meru,

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:08 pm

Vepacitta wrote:For the sake of general conversation, reference and just plain speech - use of the word "self" is okey dokey. Even the Tathagata himself used self "atta" when refering to himself or others. It's a referent.

As to unwholesome - I dunno that it's so very unskillful to use that word - it's certainly used in translation -- not everyone is/can be/ a Pali scholar.

Some people - ok - some collections of aggregates - which aren't really "people" or "beings" (because zoiks I might get flamed) can - dependent upon the confluence of conditions and tendencies running through the aggregates - and indeed supporting or conditioning those very same aggregates (hey - what about using vortex - that more acceptable than 'person" "self" "being" etc. ?) exhibit unwholesome, unskillful, or - just plain nasty, bad, unkind etc etc behaviour.

Remember Bill Clinton, "It depends upon what the meaning of "is" is? :roll:

More samsara-ing - more fabrications.

From the slopes of Mt. Meru,

V.
Hi, friend Vepacitta (Attn. PeterB), -

It is a debating trick, V. They use 'self' both ways -- as acceptable conventional language some time, or as non-acceptable violation of the 'anatta' principle another time-- whichever way and whenever they consider beneficial for them. Some people who study the Abhidhamma are very fond of taking a refuge in the 'anatta' principle that they interpret to mean 'no self', 'no person', 'no being'. That clinging to 'no self' sometimes effectively confuses the discussion so much that they can get away using it as a "smoke screen".

Yeah, Clinton is very good at emitting smoke screens too.

:stirthepot: Dhamma_spoon
A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!

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dhammafriend
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhammafriend » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:19 pm

Hi everyone

Thanks a lot for the advice and suggestions! Going to have to keep it real, staying true to what I understand to be the teachings of the Buddha, upholding the precepts and staying true to myself.

Once again thank you all.
Metta
Dhammafriend
Metta
Dhammafriend

Natthi me saranam annam buddho me saranam varam
For me there is no other refuge, the Buddha is my excellent refuge.
Etena saccavajjena vaddheyyam satthu-sasane
By the utterance of this truth, may I grow in the Master’s Way.

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Vepacitta
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Re: difficult situation

Post by Vepacitta » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:20 pm

Hi, friend Vepacitta (Attn. PeterB), -

It is a debating trick, V. They use 'self' both ways -- as acceptable conventional language some time, or as non-acceptable violation of the 'anatta' principle another time-- whichever way and whenever they consider beneficial for them. Some people who study the Abhidhamma are very fond of taking a refuge in the 'anatta' principle that they interpret to mean 'no self', 'no person', 'no being'. That clinging to 'no self' sometimes effectively confuses the discussion so much that they can get away using it as a "smoke screen".
Dhamma_spoon

Hey Dhamma_Spoon.

I know! :thumbsup:

From up on Mt Meru,

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

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Vepacitta
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Re: difficult situation

Post by Vepacitta » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:22 pm

dhammafriend wrote:Hi everyone

Thanks a lot for the advice and suggestions! Going to have to keep it real, staying true to what I understand to be the teachings of the Buddha, upholding the precepts and staying true to myself.

Once again thank you all.
Metta
Dhammafriend

Just go with your gut Dhammafriend!

YFNA,

V.
I'm your friendly, neighbourhood Asura

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SDC
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Re: difficult situation

Post by SDC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:23 pm

dhamma_spoon wrote:
SDC wrote:
dhamma_spoon wrote:Why is the "same person" quite acceptable one time, but unacceptable later on?
Quick answer -

Because there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept. I'll be back in about an hour to elaborate or comment on your retort.
Sorry, SDC. Your quick answer is not acceptable. Please read my whole post first.

Thanks.
I read it all, this is what I chose to comment on. What isn't acceptable?

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". I will clarify further but please specify what it is you do not get about what I am saying.

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SDC
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Re: difficult situation

Post by SDC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:33 pm

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.

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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:49 pm

SDC wrote:
dhamma_spoon wrote:
SDC wrote:
Quick answer -

Because there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept. I'll be back in about an hour to elaborate or comment on your retort.
Sorry, SDC. Your quick answer is not acceptable. Please read my whole post first.

Thanks.
I read it all, this is what I chose to comment on. What isn't acceptable?
Hi, SDC (Attn. Vepacitta) -

Not acceptable because "there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept" is not the discussion issue. Why is it not an issue, you may ask? Because every Buddhist knows what 'anatta' means, and since we already discussed 'no self' and 'not self' so many times till we are blue in the face, therefore it is no longer an issue to discuss.

Let's instead discuss wholesome/unwholesome in the conventional language, without switching back-and-forth to the ultimate reality of the Abhidhamma for now. I'll continue in the next post. Thanks.

Dhamma_spoon. :stirthepot:
A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!

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SDC
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Re: difficult situation

Post by SDC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:59 pm

dhamma_spoon wrote:
Hi, SDC (Attn. Vepacitta) -

Not acceptable because "there is no self in the body of that person to accept or not accept" is not the discussion issue. Why is it not an issue, you may ask? Because every Buddhist knows what 'anatta' means, and since we already discussed 'no self' and 'not self' so many times till we are blue in the face, therefore it is no longer an issue to discuss.

Let's instead discuss wholesome/unwholesome in the conventional language, without switching back-and-forth to the ultimate reality of the Abhidhamma for now. I'll continue in the next post. Thanks.

Dhamma_spoon. :stirthepot:
I don't read the Abhidhamma.

It seems you are assuming, but I won't let it ruin the discussion.

I try not to judge people and close the book on them when display unwholesome qualities. I also don't assume they are great people because they have displayed some wholesome qualities. Of course I remember past experiences, but I try not to let that affect what is happening now.

But in the end what is most important is how I deal with the situation whether it be a wholesome or unwholesome experience. That is what matters to me. To label a person one or the other makes it really difficult to be compassionate and understanding.

Since I have continued to be cordial, I would appreciate the same from you. There is no reason for this to be heated. Let's continue to discuss and hopefully we will both get something out of this.

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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:09 pm

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.
Hi, SDC (Vepacitta, PeterB), -

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.

Regards,

Tep :stirthepot:
----
Last edited by dhamma_spoon on Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SDC
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Re: difficult situation

Post by SDC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:11 pm

I would like to get to the point where this is a back and forth, one post each. So I am going to wait to till you respond to my last post before I post a gain just to make this easier.

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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:27 pm

SDC wrote:I would like to get to the point where this is a back and forth, one post each. So I am going to wait to till you respond to my last post before I post a gain just to make this easier.
Dhamma spoon: Good idea, SDC. I am going to reply to the last post you wrote below.

--------------------
SDC wrote:I don't read the Abhidhamma. It seems you are assuming, but I won't let it ruin the discussion.

I try not to judge people and close the book on them when display unwholesome qualities. I also don't assume they are great people because they have displayed some wholesome qualities. Of course I remember past experiences, but I try not to let that affect what is happening now.

But in the end what is most important is how I deal with the situation whether it be a wholesome or unwholesome experience. That is what matters to me. To label a person one or the other makes it really difficult to be compassionate and understanding.

Since I have continued to be cordial, I would appreciate the same from you. There is no reason for this to be heated. Let's continue to discuss and hopefully we will both get something out of this.
Dhamma spoon: I only made a general statement about the abhidhamma in general. No offence was intended.
Labeling is automatic; it is a part of perception -- so it can be either bad or good. For example, 'niccasanna' is bad and 'aniccasanna' is good.
Labeling for the purpose of recollection later is useful (iti rupa.m); one doesn't have to be negative because of a label.

Why do you ask me to be cordial and not heated? Do you think I am not cordial enough, and am getting hot? :lol:

Cordially and coolly,

Tep
-----
A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!

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SDC
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Re: difficult situation

Post by SDC » Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:39 pm

dhamma_spoon wrote:Let's agree to stay with the conventional language throughout this discussion. [No smoke screen, please.]
I am willing to honor this, but I am speaking in the way I think. I apologize if you think I am doing it as a smoke screen. It isn't I assure you. I don't do that here or in my non-internet life. I am NOT in the business of trying to win arguments with certain tactics. I will admit when I am wrong or when I agree with others.
dhamma_spoon wrote: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.
Agreed.

dhamma_spoon wrote:I only made a general statement about the abhidhamma in general. No offence was intended.
Labeling is automatic; it is a part of perception -- so it can be either bad or good. For example, 'niccasanna' is bad and 'aniccasanna' is good.
Labeling for the purpose of recollection later is useful (iti rupa.m); one doesn't have to be negative because of a label.

Why do you ask me to be cordial and not heated? Do you think I am not cordial enough, and am getting hot? :lol:

Cordially and coolly,

Tep
-----
People get funny on the internet. I'm not sure what you think of me and my intentions in this discussion. I want you to know I have no desire to let discussion turn into what many discussion on the internet turn into. That is not fun for me and in the end no one learns anything. It is cool as of now and I want it to stay that way.

And of course labeling is part of the mental process. I was not saying otherwise. But it is those labels that can get us in trouble, especially when it comes to other people. I personally find it a hindrance to compassion and knowledge to put a label of wholesome or unwholesome on a person. I still do it! It makes me suffer, because then I encounter the person and realize that I was dwelling on a particular aspect and negated everything else.

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dhamma_spoon
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Re: difficult situation

Post by dhamma_spoon » Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:28 pm

SDC wrote:
dhamma_spoon wrote:Let's agree to stay with the conventional language throughout this discussion. [No smoke screen, please.]
I am willing to honor this, but I am speaking in the way I think.
Hi, SDC -

I think this well-written reply of yours is cool. So, let's continue our friendly conversation here.

SDC: "I apologize if you think I am doing it as a smoke screen. It isn't I assure you. I don't do that here or in my non-internet life. I am NOT in the business of trying to win arguments with certain tactics. I will admit when I am wrong or when I agree with others."

Dhamma_Spoon: I believe you completely. So, in your case there is nothing to apologize at all. Also, I promise to be frank and open the same way you are. Thank you very much.

SDC: "People get funny on the internet. I'm not sure what you think of me and my intentions in this discussion. I want you to know I have no desire to let discussion turn into what many discussion on the internet turn into. That is not fun for me and in the end no one learns anything. It is cool as of now and I want it to stay that way."

Dhamma_Spoon: I am glad to know all the good things you kindly said. You hit something, a truth, that is very important.
I have found it to be true again and again that a good behavior is straight and it is maintained only by continuing to be straight (honest, wholesome, restraining, discerning, forgiving, letting go, etc.). Once the effort wanes, non-meritorious actions will quickly take over. So, yes, let's always keep it cool.

SDC: "And of course labeling is part of the mental process. I was not saying otherwise. But it is those labels that can get us in trouble, especially when it comes to other people. I personally find it a hindrance to compassion and knowledge to put a label of wholesome or unwholesome on a person. I still do it! It makes me suffer, because then I encounter the person and realize that I was dwelling on a particular aspect and negated everything else."

Dhamma_Spoon: I see that danger too -- the danger of biasedness. Yes, an unwholesome sanna (perception, label) CAN make the mind tend to "dwell" in a wrong (unwholesome) domain. Would you suggest that a) we develop positive sanna, or 2) we completely abandon sanna?

:stirthepot:
A soup spoon does not know the taste of the soup.
A dhamma spoon does not know the taste of the Dhamma!

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