little lies, big lies

Exploring Theravāda's connections to other paths. What can we learn from other traditions, religions and philosophies?
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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 16, 2011 4:53 am

alan wrote:In this case, it would be the sensation of taste, and all the emotions that arise due to that feeling.
To be a little more clear: What is the emotion ( or set of emotions) underlying the choices that led to: 'I've changed my "likes" to better correspond with what is best for my body.'
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:10 am

I'm sorry, but you seem to have misunderstood my point. I've changed my likes by determining what would be best for me, acting on it, seeing the results, and confirming the usefulness of those actions. My former emotional responses, when subject to reason, no longer have an emotional impact.

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:17 am

alan wrote:I'm sorry, but you seem to have misunderstood my point. I've changed my likes by determining what would be best for me, acting on it, seeing the results, and confirming the usefulness of those actions. My former emotional responses, when subject to reason, no longer have an emotional impact.
Okay, but what was the emotion behind the "reason" for the change?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:34 am

You are presupposing the answer you want to hear. As long as you do that there will be no end to your line of argument.
For those interested in getting into the philosophy behind this question, the real debate should be centered on these questions: How can I know my emotions are real? Why do I accept them without scrutiny? Is it really in my best interest to supplicate my rational mind to these forces not properly understood?

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by tiltbillings » Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:58 am

alan wrote:You are presupposing the answer you want to hear. As long as you do that there will be no end to your line of argument.
Not at all. That is your assumption.

Again, to ask my question is a different way: are you saying there is no emotional component behind your choices as you outlined them?
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

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Kim OHara
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by Kim OHara » Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:21 am

alan wrote:I'm going to respectfully disagree [with Kim saying: Reason without emotion to direct it will not do anything, any more than a hammer will do anything without a hand, arm and brain to guide it - or a computer without a person to direct it to perform a task.
If you track any of your actions or choices back - from effect to its cause to its cause to its cause - you will always end up with 'because I wanted to' and that 'want' is a choice powered by emotion, not by reason
], and try to show why reason is a neglected aspect of our outlook, and why placing reason above our emotions can be a useful strategy in many aspects of life.
The foundation of my argument is based upon the realization that we don't really know why we like what we like. We just like it, so we do it. But is that anyway to live? I say no. I'd rather have an understanding of my motivations. Maybe I used to like french fries, so I'd eat them. Or, I can read about health and understand it is much better to eat wholesome foods. Using reason, I construct a new, better diet. I do research, I find out which foods create energy and are most healthful. Eating those foods, I feel better, I get up earlier and try that Yoga stuff I've read about but wasn't emotionally interested in before. Recognizing the usefulness of that, I decide to start treating exercise as a fundamental good. Several years later I'm healthier and happier, and no longer held captive to what I used to consider my likes or wants. I've created a new way of understanding what should be considered good. I now like eating broccoli and doing yoga. I've changed my "likes" to better correspond with what is best for my body, and I've done it through a process that was based on rational decisions.
That's all right, Alan, but (since Tilt's line of questions seems to have stalled), why did you bother in the first place?


:namaste:
Kim

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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Wed Aug 17, 2011 3:21 am

Because learning is always good, and I can't learn much by withholding my viewpoints. By putting my honest opinions on a forum like this, I get to hear responses from intelligent people like you and tilt.

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Dan74
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by Dan74 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:05 am

I might be wrong but I guess tilt was hinting (or trying to get you to explore) the emotional biases that underlie your choices.

I mean it's not just alan, Dan or tilt - we'd all be naive to think that we are completely rational and objective in how we do things. Not even close, I'd say.

What I try to do is to deepen my commitment to truth - to facing what's happening with clarity and without judgment or preconception, so I can (hope to) see how it really is. Including all the emotional baggage, conditioning, genetics and the biases that result from it.

But every now and then I get a glimpse of a smidgeon of the delusion I labour under and it's still scary! But what else can I expect?
_/|\_

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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:15 am

Of course, we always "like" what we choose. But to extrapolate from this and assume that all choices are based upon "Emotion" is a tautology.
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Tautology.html

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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:41 am

When people talk about the primacy of "emotion" what do they mean?
Can anyone define emotion? Is it love, is it hate, is it "feelings"?
Why would anyone think that an emotional approach is better suited to the needs of the moment than a clear-minded, sensible, rational understanding of the situation?

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Dan74
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by Dan74 » Wed Aug 17, 2011 4:53 am

Not sure who you are addressing, alan. I don't recall anyone advocating emotional approach over a rational one here.

By emotion, I mean all feelings, ie what is not purely memories, sensations, logical considerations or processes. Not really a proper definition, I know, but I think we sort of know what is being talked about here.
alan wrote:Of course, we always "like" what we choose. But to extrapolate from this and assume that all choices are based upon "Emotion" is a tautology.
http://mathworld.wolfram.com/Tautology.html
Not all choices, some choices are very rational, of course. I guess in order to see the extent to which emotions are in charge, we first have to make peace with them, accept them, respect them, "bring them back into the fold."

Some of the vehemently rational characters whom I've know refuse to do that and continue behaving in deeply irrational ways while being totally oblivious to this fact.
_/|\_

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tiltbillings
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by tiltbillings » Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:03 am

Geez, Alan, you keep missing the point. As long as you are unawakened, much of what you do is going to be colored to degree by non-rational motivation.
>> Do you see a man wise [enlightened/ariya] in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.<< -- Proverbs 26:12

This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond. -- SN I, 38.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” HPatDH p.723

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Fri Aug 19, 2011 2:43 am

That makes sense. I wonder what is the best way to understand non-rational motivation.

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Prasadachitta
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by Prasadachitta » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:37 am

alan wrote:That makes sense. I wonder what is the best way to understand non-rational motivation.
Aware of feeling I breath in

Aware or feeling I breath out

Aware of feeling as mind conditioning I breath in

Aware of feeling as mind conditioning I breath out

:smile:
"Beautifully taught is the Lord's Dhamma, immediately apparent, timeless, of the nature of a personal invitation, progressive, to be attained by the wise, each for himself." Anguttara Nikaya V.332

alan
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Re: little lies, big lies

Post by alan » Fri Aug 19, 2011 3:40 am

Nice, but not really an answer to my question.

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