lice

Buddhist ethical conduct including the Five Precepts (Pañcasikkhāpada), and Eightfold Ethical Conduct (Aṭṭhasīla).
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Mkoll
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Re: lice

Post by Mkoll »

:goodpost:
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa
Namo tassa bhagavato arahato samma sambuddhassa

chownah
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Re: lice

Post by chownah »

You would also be actively spreading lice throughout your community, a deeply uncompassionate act, as lice are known to carry a good number of regularly deadly pathogens.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2738510/
I'm not offering an opinion about how to deal with lice but I do want to point out that lice being a known "vector" for those bacteria does not mean that all lice harbor those bacteria. Many people here have mentioned having had lice and I think that probaby none of them have contracted any of those diseases. I'm not saying it can't happen but I don't think it is very common except perhaps in some areas in the world where those bacteria are commonly found and wide spread.

Disclaimer....I don't really speak with any authority about this....I just have known many people who have had lice and have never heard of anyone of them contracting any of those diseases.
chownah

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seeker242
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Re: lice

Post by seeker242 »

dylanj wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:51 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:52 pm

Combing them out of wet hair certainly would "send them on their way", but only if they are subject to post-mortem rebirth. I regularly comb lice out of my children's hair, and those that are not mashed up by the comb would soon die without finding a new host. Unlike animal fleas, they are quite delicate little critters.
that is killing & against the first precept.
Then so is driving a car since many insects are killed doing that too.

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Sam Vara
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Re: lice

Post by Sam Vara »

dylanj wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:57 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 7:52 am
dylanj wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 5:51 am


it's not the answer to the question itself i'm concerned with. i know exactly what i'd do.
I'm having trouble following the point of this thread. What exactly are you concerned with? What sort of answer do you want?
well it should be clear that not only this is against the 1st precept but that breaking it is not a good idea, even for the sake of relief from lice. it is hell-kamma. i was hoping to see people recognize it as such & advocate non-harming towards lice.
Ah, I see. The OP suggests you might have had a personal infestation problem and were seeking practical advice.

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one_awakening
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Re: lice

Post by one_awakening »

AgarikaJ wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 8:57 am

My answer would be: the precepts are training rules, not commandments;

Exactly. It's a guide not a rule book.
“You only lose what you cling to”

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salayatananirodha
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Re: lice

Post by salayatananirodha »

The precepts aren't good only some of the time, they are good all of the time, and if they were not they would have been presented conditionally, subject to fluctuation. That's one of the recurring arguments in many circles, even by well-known and well learned monks.
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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salayatananirodha
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Re: lice

Post by salayatananirodha »

Why would you be responsible for what the lice do. Intention is kamma, not harming the lice is superior to destroying them, even if some of the lice are diseased and others contract them from you. Another recurring argument is that if you allow something to happen, you are responsible; however, if intention isn't there, it isn't kamma. But take the case of person who's poor. A rich man strolls by and sees him and thinks giving to this person would be an inconvenience to him or that he would subsidize poverty. He intends not to give the person money. He follows a non-compassionate motivation even though it occurs to him the difference in socioeconomic level and that he could perform an act of generosity. This is why the buddha said it would be an offense for monks not to help another monk who is sick. Anyway, neither knowingly and willfully coming into contact with others so that lice are contracted nor destroying the lice is a good option. Anyway, I don't like thought experiments because they're not real. If one hasn't developed a heart of sufficient compassion they will be self-interested; even though this faithful dylanj observes the precepts he may not have such control over his thoughts that they are not taken to be the self, because they will amplify with increasing and unpleasant contact. Ideally, one should develop their heart in such a way that killing a living being (intentionally) is impossible.
The world does not stop for you to make a calculated decision, you only have the opportunity to reform behavior when you have sati
What is concerning but understandable is the reworking of the doctrine to conform with personal theories and desires. If we had it figured out why would we need the buddha.
I incline toward agreeing with dylanj but not being arrogant about what I can control or not
16. 'In what has the world originated?' — so said the Yakkha Hemavata, — 'with what is the world intimate? by what is the world afflicted, after having grasped at what?' (167)

17. 'In six the world has originated, O Hemavata,' — so said Bhagavat, — 'with six it is intimate, by six the world is afflicted, after having grasped at six.' (168)

- Hemavatasutta


links:
https://www.ancient-buddhist-texts.net/index.htm
http://thaiforestwisdom.org/canonical-texts/
http://seeingthroughthenet.net/wp-conte ... _Heart.pdf
https://www.dhammatalks.org/index.html

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dylanj
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Re: lice

Post by dylanj »

seeker242 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:37 pm
dylanj wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:51 am
Sam Vara wrote:
Thu Nov 29, 2018 11:52 pm

Combing them out of wet hair certainly would "send them on their way", but only if they are subject to post-mortem rebirth. I regularly comb lice out of my children's hair, and those that are not mashed up by the comb would soon die without finding a new host. Unlike animal fleas, they are quite delicate little critters.
that is killing & against the first precept.
Then so is driving a car since many insects are killed doing that too.
that is unintentional. killing lice because one wants to remove them from one's head is intentional.
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

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dylanj
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Re: lice

Post by dylanj »

The precepts are not commandments. But what they are is a statement of how one needs to develop themselves in order to avoid suffering & the lower realms, hell included. Without the full abandonment of breaches of the precepts there is no freedom from hell-birth, animal-birth, ghost-birth. The suffering of those realms, the suffering caused by the kammic consequence of killing a living being, is far worse than the suffering of a lice infestation, many times over. In fact being infested by lice isn't a cause of suffering. The causes of suffering arise in the mind, not outside of it. Like I said, even Hindus can develop themselves enough to happily endure a lice infestation knowing they have a heart of love, & putting far more value in that than physical comfort. Killing a living being to rid oneself of some sort of inconvenience or suffering is like shooting oneself in the head to remove a headache. It's insanity. If you don't believe this your faith in the Dhamma is insufficient - you must not actually believe it. Causality is not materialist. Material things aren't suffering, they're objects of your passion & aversion & delusion, which are suffering. Remove those & suffering is ended whether you have lice on your head or a sword through your chest. Do those of you who think the precepts are just guidelines that one can/should ignore when they think they're inconvenient not believe in rebirth? Why are you not concerned with the next world? The mind that settles for a trifling relief or pleasure here & now, disregarding the long-term, is the mind that does evil again & again. & why are you not concerned with the suffering of the lice? They are real beings. When you kill them they experience pain, terror, confusion, & are whirled away to their next life which will probably be an unfortunate one.

May all lice be happy! May all lice be at peace!
Think: Happy, at rest,
may all beings be happy at heart.
Whatever beings there may be,
weak or strong, without exception,
long, large,
middling, short,
subtle, blatant,
seen & unseen,
near & far,
born & seeking birth:
May all beings be happy at heart.

Let no one deceive another
or despise anyone anywhere,
or through anger or irritation
wish for another to suffer.


As a mother would risk her life
to protect her child
, her only child,
even so should one cultivate a limitless heart
with regard to all beings.
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

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dylanj
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Re: lice

Post by dylanj »

"Monks, the taking of life — when indulged in, developed, & pursued — is something that leads to hell, leads to rebirth as a common animal, leads to the realm of the hungry shades. The slightest of all the results coming from the taking of life is that, when one becomes a human being, it leads to a short life span.
AN 8.40
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

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dylanj
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Re: lice

Post by dylanj »

Also, as has been pointed out by another user, the sort of dilemmas that lead one to conclude doing an unfortunate & lesser yet 'necessary' evil are nonexistent. They are mind-created dilemmas. Like in the suttas when someone goes to the Buddha with a two-pronged question thinking he will have no way out of it. But of course the Buddha just disregards their silly premises altogether & answers the question reasonably. The fact is that after committing to not harm the lice, one will do what they can to make the best of the situation. I find it unlikely that they will create a colony on your head that will last your whole life & even if they did, how bad can it really be? Most likely it will amount to just an uncomfortable scalp but that's much better than a corrupt heart...& again, causality is not materialist. Performing wholesome kamma & practicing the Dhamma is likely to resolve the problem in some way. Committing to nonharming & virtue results in the fulfillment of one's aspirations & the arising of pleasant, wholesome conditions, as well as a reduction in the severity of the results of past evil kamma, which the lice infestation could very well be. Anāthapiṇḍika is said to have given away all his wealth with the faith that no harm would come from it & even after becoming bankrupt he developed a whole new fortune in the same lifetime. You will never be punished for your virtue. No harm ever has, currently does, or ever will come from virtue. It is only the faithless, deluded, & self-interested mind that imagines & conceives scenarios where it is okay to harm another for one's own "interest". If you don't believe this is how ethics & causality work then you don't believe in the Buddha's teaching on kamma.
Born, become, arisen – made, prepared, short-lived
Bonded by decay and death – a nest for sickness, perishable
Produced by seeking nutriment – not fit to take delight in


Departure from this is peaceful – beyond reasoning and enduring
Unborn, unarisen – free from sorrow and stain
Ceasing of all factors of suffering – stilling of all preparations is bliss

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JamesTheGiant
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Re: lice

Post by JamesTheGiant »

My solution is:

Kill the lice and accept the bad kamma.
:shrug:

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Sam Vara
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Re: lice

Post by Sam Vara »

dylanj wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:55 am
I find it unlikely that they will create a colony on your head that will last your whole life & even if they did, how bad can it really be?
Yeah, and that double-handed saw thing: it's unlikely to last more than a few minutes, and how bad can it actually be?

(I'll be checking on your Right Speech and sexy thoughts later, so raise your game, you dhamma-slackers...)

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AgarikaJ
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Re: lice

Post by AgarikaJ »

dylanj wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:23 am
seeker242 wrote:
Sun Dec 02, 2018 12:37 pm
dylanj wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:51 am


that is killing & against the first precept.
Then so is driving a car since many insects are killed doing that too.
that is unintentional. killing lice because one wants to remove them from one's head is intentional.
It would only be unintentional if you would not be mindful enough to know that exactly this mass killing is the *unavoidable* result of your action.

Else it would be a valid excuse that you 'did not know' or 'did not intend' that the lice would die after casting them off from your hair.

As I said, somebody at the time of the Buddha could have pleaded innocence that living pathogens are responsible for the spread of sickness. A modern, educated person does not have that excuse, so both the options of "living" and even "not living" includes constant, calculated, intentional breakage of the First Precept to varying degrees.

Calculated, because it is up to your state of Right Mindfulness to be able to think about the results of your actions, and which of those are less unwholesome and harmful. Depending on the state of your knowledge of the law of Kamma and the Dhamma, the resulting decisions might differ (eg does it create more harm to kill insects or is it more harmful to potentially kill the people around me), but for sure you should have thought about it at length, so any resulting action would be intentional.

Saying: "I did not intend to kill insects when driving a car" or "I did not intend to spread illness while intentionally carrying the disease vector" only means that you were acting without the necessary Right Mindfulness and/or Right Knowledge. Not being mindful precludes from reaching higher attainments, so being careless about the results of your actions is not something one should do lightly.

As was, at least, the opinion of Ajahn Chah:
https://www.abhayagiri.org/books/617-stillness-flowing
p. 146:
Mindfulness was his main emphasis: making mindfulness constant and smooth, without interruptions – not allowing it to be broken. Whether standing, walking, sitting, lying down or eating you had to be mindful, because if you lose your mindfulness it’s the same as losing your life – that’s what he’d say. If there was a work project going on for instance and we complained that we didn’t have the opportunity to practise, he would ask us if our breath stopped while we were eating or lying down.
How could you be too exhausted to meditate when your breath is so immediate and ordinary? There’s nothing more to it than the breath. If you practise and you’re mindful, it’s nothing more than being with this ordinary breath. That was all he taught. Mindfulness was the main part of it.
“If you lose your mindfulness, what kind of meditation technique are you going to use? What sort of concentration are you going to develop? What purification is going to take place? You won’t know how to achieve any of those things. It’s mindfulness that is important. Coolness and tranquillity arise in the presence of mindfulness. Internal and external well-being come with mindfulness. Dhamma, Vinaya, every one of the monastic regulations depends on mindfulness. Without mindfulness, what are you going to make your object of awareness? That’s how he taught the fundamental principles.
p. 739:
"Luang Por emphasized that being mindful did not refer simply to dwelling in the present moment. The Buddhist practice of sati was distinguished by its moral and ethical dimension.
"Some meditation groups hold the view that it’s not necessary to practise sīla or samādhi, that mindfulness in all postures is enough. That’s good in a way, but it’s not the Buddha’s way. A cat has mindfulness, goats and sheep have mindfulness. But it’s wrong mindfulness, not sammāsati, Right Mindfulness. On the Buddhist path, you can’t take that as a working principle. Buddhism teaches that being mindful and aware means being aware of right and wrong. Having become aware of the right and the wrong, then practice to abandon whatever is wrong and cultivate whatever is good."
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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AgarikaJ
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Re: lice

Post by AgarikaJ »

dylanj wrote:
Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:37 am
The precepts are not commandments. But what they are is a statement of how one needs to develop themselves in order to avoid suffering & the lower realms, hell included.
...
The suffering of those realms, the suffering caused by the kammic consequence of killing a living being, is far worse than the suffering of a lice infestation, many times over.
...
Killing a living being to rid oneself of some sort of inconvenience or suffering is like shooting oneself in the head to remove a headache.
You have mistaken my post.

I did not advocate to rid oneself from a lice infestation because having them is inconvenient.

I advocated it because it is the way of creating less harm. The appropriate references to the Vinaya rules, delineating that there is a cadence of harm depending of which or who's life you destroy were in my post.

Just because you strive to develop wholesome thoughts does unluckily not prevent your lice from moving on to other hosts. This is, to make the point, not about you having the lice, but that other people will get them and you could have prevented that.
The teaching is a lake with shores of ethics, unclouded, praised by the fine to the good.
There the knowledgeable go to bathe, and cross to the far shore without getting wet.
[SN 7.21]

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