Imperfect morality and sotapanna

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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SDC
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

Post by SDC »

thepea wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:34 pm Yes, I know the training. Yes, I know the path and the work to be done.
Yes, I understand aparent and ultimate view.
You seem to be pointing to this high level of standard, in a way that seems to suggest that I am not capable or worth of having practiced appropriately.

I’m in all complete honesty, openly letting you know that this is my reality. I have entered the stage of master apprentice. Cracked the dam, there is no power that can prevent this dam from breaking within 7 lifetimes according to suttas. I don’t give much importance to these things. This gift as explained offers me no doubt in the path, practice and what is required to do to finish the task.
But, what you seem to be failing to understand is parmis.
My parmis are not complete they are at a minimum of 25% in all categories and perhaps greater in some.
I may have to work, raise my children, battle the government against these horrific unwarranted Covid extremes, etc.... to build up in strong determination, compassion for others, or a variety of karmic reasons.

I am a very moral individual, strong willed, determined, a pain in the ass to some, but very moral. In no way a pushover but moral.

A saint in today’s times if you will, an angel. I will not rest in the face of tyranny against humanity. This doesn’t mean I will kill or physically hurt people, but I can crack the sheep with my cane in order to move them to safety or greener pastures. If you are a wooly creature and feel my cane you may be angered with me and think I am a horrible person. This is ok, I’ll bear this burden as I know the correct action required as I possess higher wisdom.

Regardless of what I do, this journey is ending.

There is an aspect of buddha in the teachings being overlooked or not given its proper importance. As a sotapanna, why wouldn’t I try to point this out in my own words and understandings. The real concern is why am I censored whenever I try to bring this to light?
If we could just take step back...the reason I am emphasizing what I see as a very high standard is to make you aware of the prevailing themes found in the suttas that you have, a) asserted have the "potential" to be wrong, and, b) that the different approaches other than your own have dangerous ideas. I'm legitimately trying to share with you that the suttas maintain a very high, and very consistent standard. I'm trying to share this with you because you yourself advocate for a certain standard. So even if you leave this discussion with doubts about other approaches other than your own, you'll at least have seen that there are suttas that do not trivialize serious matters.

Feel free to use "your own words" as you said, but if you continue to share them at the expense of these consistent themes found throughout the texts, the onus is on you to justify it. If you want to pit Goenka against another contemporary teacher, I say, go for it. But if you continue to pit thepea against the suttas, it is a direct slight against the absolute core of what people on this site hold in very high regard, and if you do so with no real effort to evidence your claims, while shifting into the position of the victim when people question you, it just comes off as needlessly provocative.

I'm not failing to understand the pāramī. What I'm trying to convey is that the sotāpanna according to the suttas, has a ridiculously high level of development, which would open the door to a corresponding degree of disillusionment with the world, not inflame passion towards it. That is the fundamental discrepancy with what you describing. I'm not saying a sotāpanna couldn't, I'm simply saying that all indications are that a sotāpanna would have to go against the nature of their Right View to generate desire towards the world.

----

For the record, I think this has so far been a very cordial exchange and I hope it continues that way.
"Remembering the meditators of old, and recollecting their conduct, even in the latter days, it’s still possible to realize the deathless." -Thag 16.10
...
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

Post by confusedlayman »

SDC wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:14 am
thepea wrote: Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:34 pm Yes, I know the training. Yes, I know the path and the work to be done.
Yes, I understand aparent and ultimate view.
You seem to be pointing to this high level of standard, in a way that seems to suggest that I am not capable or worth of having practiced appropriately.

I’m in all complete honesty, openly letting you know that this is my reality. I have entered the stage of master apprentice. Cracked the dam, there is no power that can prevent this dam from breaking within 7 lifetimes according to suttas. I don’t give much importance to these things. This gift as explained offers me no doubt in the path, practice and what is required to do to finish the task.
But, what you seem to be failing to understand is parmis.
My parmis are not complete they are at a minimum of 25% in all categories and perhaps greater in some.
I may have to work, raise my children, battle the government against these horrific unwarranted Covid extremes, etc.... to build up in strong determination, compassion for others, or a variety of karmic reasons.

I am a very moral individual, strong willed, determined, a pain in the ass to some, but very moral. In no way a pushover but moral.

A saint in today’s times if you will, an angel. I will not rest in the face of tyranny against humanity. This doesn’t mean I will kill or physically hurt people, but I can crack the sheep with my cane in order to move them to safety or greener pastures. If you are a wooly creature and feel my cane you may be angered with me and think I am a horrible person. This is ok, I’ll bear this burden as I know the correct action required as I possess higher wisdom.

Regardless of what I do, this journey is ending.

There is an aspect of buddha in the teachings being overlooked or not given its proper importance. As a sotapanna, why wouldn’t I try to point this out in my own words and understandings. The real concern is why am I censored whenever I try to bring this to light?
If we could just take step back...the reason I am emphasizing what I see as a very high standard is to make you aware of the prevailing themes found in the suttas that you have, a) asserted have the "potential" to be wrong, and, b) that the different approaches other than your own have dangerous ideas. I'm legitimately trying to share with you that the suttas maintain a very high, and very consistent standard. I'm trying to share this with you because you yourself advocate for a certain standard. So even if you leave this discussion with doubts about other approaches other than your own, you'll at least have seen that there are suttas that do not trivialize serious matters.

Feel free to use "your own words" as you said, but if you continue to share them at the expense of these consistent themes found throughout the texts, the onus is on you to justify it. If you want to pit Goenka against another contemporary teacher, I say, go for it. But if you continue to pit thepea against the suttas, it is a direct slight against the absolute core of what people on this site hold in very high regard, and if you do so with no real effort to evidence your claims, while shifting into the position of the victim when people question you, it just comes off as needlessly provocative.

I'm not failing to understand the pāramī. What I'm trying to convey is that the sotāpanna according to the suttas, has a ridiculously high level of development, which would open the door to a corresponding degree of disillusionment with the world, not inflame passion towards it. That is the fundamental discrepancy with what you describing. I'm not saying a sotāpanna couldn't, I'm simply saying that all indications are that a sotāpanna would have to go against the nature of their Right View to generate desire towards the world.

----

For the record, I think this has so far been a very cordial exchange and I hope it continues that way.
If sota kills he will b n jail and he will go hell.. but sota wont do activities that take him to hell
dont think
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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confusedlayman wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:31 am If sota kills he will b n jail and he will go hell.. but sota wont do activities that take him to hell
I didn't write the suttas, the Buddha spoke them, so I don't know why you are trying to make it my problem that your personal opinion contradicts them.

I showed you everything you asked for, so it is your responsibility to deal with what that means for your own views.
"Remembering the meditators of old, and recollecting their conduct, even in the latter days, it’s still possible to realize the deathless." -Thag 16.10
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

Post by confusedlayman »

SDC wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:47 am
confusedlayman wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:31 am If sota kills he will b n jail and he will go hell.. but sota wont do activities that take him to hell
I didn't write the suttas, the Buddha spoke them, so I don't know why you are trying to make it my problem that your personal opinion contradicts them.

I showed you everything you asked for, so it is your responsibility to deal with what that means for your own views.
ok thanks for the help.
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

Post by thepea »

SDC wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 3:14 am
If we could just take step back...the reason I am emphasizing what I see as a very high standard is to make you aware of the prevailing themes found in the suttas that you have, a) asserted have the "potential" to be wrong, and, b) that the different approaches other than your own have dangerous ideas. I'm legitimately trying to share with you that the suttas maintain a very high, and very consistent standard. I'm trying to share this with you because you yourself advocate for a certain standard. So even if you leave this discussion with doubts about other approaches other than your own, you'll at least have seen that there are suttas that do not trivialize serious matters.

Feel free to use "your own words" as you said, but if you continue to share them at the expense of these consistent themes found throughout the texts, the onus is on you to justify it. If you want to pit Goenka against another contemporary teacher, I say, go for it. But if you continue to pit thepea against the suttas, it is a direct slight against the absolute core of what people on this site hold in very high regard, and if you do so with no real effort to evidence your claims, while shifting into the position of the victim when people question you, it just comes off as needlessly provocative.

I'm not failing to understand the pāramī. What I'm trying to convey is that the sotāpanna according to the suttas, has a ridiculously high level of development, which would open the door to a corresponding degree of disillusionment with the world, not inflame passion towards it. That is the fundamental discrepancy with what you describing. I'm not saying a sotāpanna couldn't, I'm simply saying that all indications are that a sotāpanna would have to go against the nature of their Right View to generate desire towards the world.

----

For the record, I think this has so far been a very cordial exchange and I hope it continues that way.
I don’t think we need to take a step back, I’m not disputing all suttas. What I’m saying is there is a subtle part of teaching downplayed and other parts added and overplayed. These slightest changes to the purity of the dhamma “can” cause the majority to remain in ignorance.
I do my best to bring this to light but it caused much turmoil here.
Now what you have to understand is all sotapanna are not created equal. You can have a sotapanna with parmis at 100% for all but one, this one when reaches 25% opens the door. This new sotapanna could have morals similar to arahant, but may be lacking in strong determination or another parmi.
The sutta stories of sotapanna offered up should convey a wide variety of moral purity. I’m not familiar with them so you will have to bring into light if this statement is accurate.
I would think that most born with the karma to be living in time of buddha and to meet him and to effect him enough to bring about him mentioning these people in a sutta they would have highly developed parmis. Most probably lacking in only a few departments(little dust).
Today, I would imagine we have people with less developed parmis, and when these become sotapannas they are not even suited to be teachers of dhamma, they are merely able to work appropriately without supervision.
I think putting the sotapanna at such a high level is part of these subtle inaccuracies that are present in the herd Buddhist religion. These inaccuracies even if subtle prevent the purity and advancement of it practitioners.
They may develop in concentration and gain some ease and stave off lower undesitlrable states, but never absolute freedom from these deep rooted defilements.
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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confusedlayman wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:13 am ok thanks for the help.
You're welcome.

Like I said, even though it is technically possible, it seems very highly unlikely that a sotāpanna would commit those acts, but since since the suttas do not declare that they are impossible, there is still a spec of a chance if the worst of circumstances were to arise.

To your point, this should not be something to fall back on as an excuse for poor behavior. It definitely doesn't seem normal for a sotāpanna to be a person of questionable moral character.

In the end, the suttas give us the most accurate probability and it is our responsibility to verify, through effort and discernment, whether or not it is valid.
"Remembering the meditators of old, and recollecting their conduct, even in the latter days, it’s still possible to realize the deathless." -Thag 16.10
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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thepea wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:40 am I don’t think we need to take a step back, I’m not disputing all suttas. What I’m saying is there is a subtle part of teaching downplayed and other parts added and overplayed. These slightest changes to the purity of the dhamma “can” cause the majority to remain in ignorance.
I do my best to bring this to light but it caused much turmoil here.
Fair enough, but downplaying and overplaying happen primarily at the level of tradition and interpretation. Of course the translation process cannot be totally divorced from interpretation, but what you are pointing out has looks to have more to do with how the suttas are being explained by teachers other than your own. That means the fault of disseminating views that may be wrong, is primarily on the teacher's interpretation and not necessarily with what the suttas say. That is why I think it would be helpful to distinguish exactly where the source of your disagreement is found. The reason I have been sharing suttas on this topic is to show the standard, and to make it as clear as possible that despite the wide array of approaches out there, they all should measured against that standard if we want to talk in terms of accuracy and consistency. With that, it will clear where the downplaying and overplaying is happening. To the extent that I can tell, it seems the problems you see are with some of the prevailing popular views within the Theravada tradition, but considering some of these approaches are at variance with the suttas, each in their own unique way, it looks as though the onus is on those teachers, and not the scriptures, when it comes to identifying possible inaccuracies.

Now if you just want to claim the suttas themselves are responsible for the downplaying and overplaying of certain ideas, the responsibility is yours to show where that is happening. Just saying it does not help people understand problem. It is just plain confusing for everyone, and I hope you can see why it doesn't necessarily lend to a fruitful discussion. I can see you take the responsibility of holding your line very seriously, but in order for people to be accepting of your position, they have to know why you hold it.
thepea wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:40 am Now what you have to understand is all sotapanna are not created equal. You can have a sotapanna with parmis at 100% for all but one, this one when reaches 25% opens the door. This new sotapanna could have morals similar to arahant, but may be lacking in strong determination or another parmi.
The sutta stories of sotapanna offered up should convey a wide variety of moral purity. I’m not familiar with them so you will have to bring into light if this statement is accurate.
I would think that most born with the karma to be living in time of buddha and to meet him and to effect him enough to bring about him mentioning these people in a sutta they would have highly developed parmis. Most probably lacking in only a few departments(little dust).
Indeed there are many different accounts. I think you would be very pleased with what you find if you choose to explore the suttas directly.
thepea wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:40 am I think putting the sotapanna at such a high level is part of these subtle inaccuracies that are present in the herd Buddhist religion. These inaccuracies even if subtle prevent the purity and advancement of it practitioners.
They may develop in concentration and gain some ease and stave off lower undesitlrable states, but never absolute freedom from these deep rooted defilements.
I don't disagree.
"Remembering the meditators of old, and recollecting their conduct, even in the latter days, it’s still possible to realize the deathless." -Thag 16.10
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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SDC wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:45 pm I don't disagree.
I’m not allowed to discuss the issues I have found, I am not allowed to post them. It is quite a lot for some to swallow.
But what if everything you thought you knew was 180 degrees on end.
If you can open your mind to this, and if a free uncensored conversation was allowed to occur, then I would share this.
All I’m saying as a sotapanna is I can lie to my kids or wife in humorous or to just avoid an argument. Subtle lies, I don’t speak on retreat when doing serious practice so this does not affect my strict morality and disrupt or agitate my mind and affect the development of jhana or right concentration.
I can steal, like a handful of nuts while grocery shopping but I justified this with rotten fruits and veg at home from store that don’t get returned. I don’t steal on retreat.
I look at sexy girls and think man that lady has a nice rack, but I never cheat on my wife in a physical way. I look at female meditators on retreat and think, wow that girl has a great ass. This happens, I’m being honest.
I kill small insects, and spray the perimeter of my house for ants, but I have not killed any large animals or humans yet.
I think if someone was hurting a child, I think I would do whatever it took to stop this individual, if I had to seriously hurt them or kill them to stop this I think I could do this in the moment.
I don’t drink alchohol or take drugs and I have no desire for this it is completely unappealing.

Given this and my statement about experiencing nibanna, do you doubt that this could be the case according to your study of the suttas?
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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thepea wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:20 pm I’m not allowed to discuss the issues I have found, I am not allowed to post them. It is quite a lot for some to swallow.
You have never been censored for expressing your opinion, only the obvious terms of service violations.

Regarding the topic, so is it the differences in interpretation about what a sotapanna can do or not do, that makes what you follow "Dhamma" as opposed to the Classical Theravada view that a sotapanna is pure in precepts? If so, I have seen other Theravadins take differing views on that, while still calling themselves Theravadins. Not that you have to call yourself a Theravadin, but if you do ordain, I'd assume you'd have to, if it's a Theravada monastery.
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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thepea wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:20 pm
SDC wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:45 pm I don't disagree.
I’m not allowed to discuss the issues I have found, I am not allowed to post them. It is quite a lot for some to swallow.
But what if everything you thought you knew was 180 degrees on end.
If you can open your mind to this, and if a free uncensored conversation was allowed to occur, then I would share this.
All I’m saying as a sotapanna is I can lie to my kids or wife in humorous or to just avoid an argument. Subtle lies, I don’t speak on retreat when doing serious practice so this does not affect my strict morality and disrupt or agitate my mind and affect the development of jhana or right concentration.
I can steal, like a handful of nuts while grocery shopping but I justified this with rotten fruits and veg at home from store that don’t get returned. I don’t steal on retreat.
I look at sexy girls and think man that lady has a nice rack, but I never cheat on my wife in a physical way. I look at female meditators on retreat and think, wow that girl has a great ass. This happens, I’m being honest.
I kill small insects, and spray the perimeter of my house for ants, but I have not killed any large animals or humans yet.
I think if someone was hurting a child, I think I would do whatever it took to stop this individual, if I had to seriously hurt them or kill them to stop this I think I could do this in the moment.
I don’t drink alchohol or take drugs and I have no desire for this it is completely unappealing.

Given this and my statement about experiencing nibanna, do you doubt that this could be the case according to your study of the suttas?
you are free to start a new topic discussing any point that might not fit into this one.
Maybe in "Connections to other paths". Just think of a suitable title.
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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thepea wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:20 pm Given this and my statement about experiencing nibanna, do you doubt that this could be the case according to your study of the suttas?
I'm not in a position to make the judgment, but I recommend taking a look at the Sotāpatti Saṃyutta. There are 74 suttas all about sotāpanna.
"Remembering the meditators of old, and recollecting their conduct, even in the latter days, it’s still possible to realize the deathless." -Thag 16.10
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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SDC wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:51 pm
thepea wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:20 pm Given this and my statement about experiencing nibanna, do you doubt that this could be the case according to your study of the suttas?
I'm not in a position to make the judgment, but I recommend taking a look at the Sotāpatti Saṃyutta. There are 74 suttas all about sotāpanna.
I’m not asking you to verify if I’m sotapanna or not, I’m asking based on your study of suttas and understanding, could I be a sotapanna and break precepts as I mentioned.
I don’t study the suttas as general reading,but if you or someone else posts one to prove against my position I read it and give my understanding.
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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thepea wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:01 pm I don’t study the suttas as general reading,but if you or someone else posts one to prove against my position I read it and give my understanding.
"Bhikkhus, a noble disciple who possesses four things is a stream-enterer, . . . He possesses the virtues dear to the noble ones, unbroken." Samyutta Nikaya 55.2

"The stream winner, with virtues dear to noble ones endowed, which are unbroken and without a rent, untarnished and without a blemish, purifying, praised by the wise, uncontaminated and conducive to concentration." Anguttara Nikaya 9.27
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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Related
https://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/kn/snp/snp.2.09.irel.html wrote:"Those who are devoted to the Dhamma made known by the Noble Ones (ariya) are unsurpassed in speech, thought and action. They are established in peace, gentleness and concentration, and have reached the essence of learning and wisdom."
:sage:
Without resistance in all four directions,
content with whatever you get,
enduring troubles with no dismay,
wander alone
like a rhinoceros.
Sutta Nipāta 1.3 - Khaggavisana Sutta
Image
But if they hit you with a stick...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't hit me with a knife.'..."
"But if they hit you with a knife...?"
"...I will think, 'These people are very civilized, in that they don't take my life with a sharp knife.'..."
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Re: Imperfect morality and sotapanna

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thepea wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:01 pm
SDC wrote: Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:51 pm
thepea wrote: Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:20 pm Given this and my statement about experiencing nibanna, do you doubt that this could be the case according to your study of the suttas?
I'm not in a position to make the judgment, but I recommend taking a look at the Sotāpatti Saṃyutta. There are 74 suttas all about sotāpanna.
I’m not asking you to verify if I’m sotapanna or not, I’m asking based on your study of suttas and understanding, could I be a sotapanna and break precepts as I mentioned.
I don’t study the suttas as general reading,but if you or someone else posts one to prove against my position I read it and give my understanding.
I already shared some suttas a few pages back about all of things it is impossible for a sotāpanna to do, and how, technically speaking, it appears they can break all of the precepts. See the exchange starting here: https://dhammawheel.com/viewtopic.php?p=580481#p580481

My position has never been that you couldn't be based on violation of precepts. It was about the sotāpanna clearly being beyond the scope of potentiality when it comes to the recognition of what is non-Dhamma in a doctrine. It appears they would know one way or the other very easily.
"Remembering the meditators of old, and recollecting their conduct, even in the latter days, it’s still possible to realize the deathless." -Thag 16.10
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