Dan74 wrote:I suspect that even the best monastics are mostly still sentient beings and wish for some light amusement sometimes. Is it really so bad?
Journalists sometimes ask the Dalai Lama about how he manages to live without sex and whether he misses it and such.
Asking him such a question reveals they don't know much about his life and his practice. Worldly people tend to assume that celibacy is pretty much a matter of gritting one's teeth and bearing it.
And similarly, that renouncing any worldly pleasure is a matter of "gritting one's teeth and bearing it." They seem to be unable to envision that the desire for worldly pleasures at some point falls away, and that it requires no effort not to seek worldly pleasures anymore.
Dan74 wrote:I could equally say 'were these people but pointless fools who spent their lives scribbling nothing of use or interest to an enlightened personage like binocular?'
My dismay with worldy literature comes from my being repeatedly disappointed with it, despite investing high hopes in it. I still read books, watch films etc. with the hope to find The Revelation, The Insight in them. But repeatedly, I get let down.
I also get repeatedly let down by people who promote worldy literature. So far, they have not taught me how to enjoy literature, even though I have specifically asked them to do so. Googling "how to enjoy reading literature" gives plenty of results. But so far, all I have checked - and I have checked many - only give tips on how to go about the reading of books, none explain how to actually enjoy them. I won't go here into the dismissive replies I got from lovers of reading myself.
Moreover, there are new streams of thought on the ethics of reading as such, reflectingon topics such as whether it is ethical to devote oneself to others via reading as much as some popularizers of reading would have us do.